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China hit by deadly flooding, severe drought

May 26, 2007
Torrential rain in southwest China triggered flash floods and mudslides that have left 21 dead, while a neighboring region is suffering its worst drought in 60 years, state media reported Friday.
A further 11 people are missing following the rains in Sichuan province and Chongqing municipality, Xinhua news agency said, in the latest extreme weather to ravage the country.
More than 360 people have been hurt and 112,000 evacuated in the disasters in a region that only last year endured its worst drought in half a century.
Meanwhile, more than 1.6 million people in Gansu province to the north face drinking water shortages due to the worst drought there since the 1940s.
The dry spell, which has had no significant rainfall in some areas for more than two months, is endangering crops or delaying planting on 1.46 million hectares (3.6 million acres) of cropland, Xinhua quoted officials with the Gansu provincial flood control and drought relief office as saying.
China last year suffered a range of extreme weather events including exceptionally strong typhoons, floods, and droughts, which meteorological officials have partly attributed to the affects of climate change.
Officials warned recently that similar weather is expected in 2007.
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