China floods death toll reaches 74

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In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, local residents collect logs at Shachang Residential Compound in Hongshi town of Huadian City, northeast China’s Jilin Province, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 following floods. AP

BEIJING – Devastating floods at opposite ends of China have left 74 people dead and forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate their homes in recent days, officials and state media said Monday.

Flooding in the north-east which left 54 people dead was described as “the worst in decades” by state news agency Xinhua, while another 20 people died in the southern province of Guangdong as a result of the weather, the ministry of civil affairs said.

A further seven people were missing in Guangdong, where 510,000 were evacuated because of the rain, the ministry said.

Transport links were severely crippled, affecting tens of thousands of travellers.

Some services from Guangzhou railway station, Guangdong’s most important transport hub, were suspended due to rain and landslides.

State media said 80,000 passengers were stranded over the weekend because of the disruption.

Services were beginning to return to normal from Monday, the station said in a statement posted on its website.

More than 2,800 soldiers have been drafted in to help with the relief efforts, Xinhua reported.

The torrential rain hit Guangdong as it was recovering from the passage of Typhoon Utor last week which killed 10 people.

The northeastern provinces affected by the recent flooding include Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang.

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