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China floods spread to north after at least 500 die

Breaking Earth News
People take photos at a flooded bank area of the Yangtze River in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei province, July 25, 2007

BEIJING, July 26 (Reuters) - Water levels have risen to critical levels along vast Chinese rivers and floods have spread to the north while a tornado hammered 33 villages in the east and two central provinces suffered drought, media said on Thursday. More than 500 people have been killed since the summer floods started, but the disaster has failed to gain world attention surrounding floods in England in which three deaths have been reported.

State television showed pictures of uprooted trees, downed electricity poles and houses without roofs by the tornado. Nearly 100,000 trees were uprooted or severed and large areas of crops were destroyed, causing economic losses of 22 million yuan ($2.9 million), the China Youth Daily said. There have been no reports of casualties from the tornado, which hit in the early morning, but water levels along the Huai remained at alarming levels.

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