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Massive Landslides Kill Dozens in China - 2002-08-10

Massive landslides and floods have killed at least 70 people in China's province of Hunan. Other parts of northeast Asian are also experiencing weather chaos.

The floods, caused by heavy rainfall in Hunan province in south central China, have forced the evacuation of thousands of residents. Chinese state media say these are the worst floods since 1998.

That year, floods claimed more than 4,000 lives across China. So far this year, around 900 people have been killed by seasonal floods in China. The army and local governments have been mobilized in much of central China to build dikes to contain rivers and evacuate residents. Officials predict more rainfall in the coming days.

Flooding affected about 45 percent of the city of Chenzhou. In Anren County, more than 3,000 people were stranded in rural areas and police have transferred 2,600 residents to safe places.

Trains from Chenzhou to Guangzhou in China's southern Guangdong Province were delayed by the storm. The Beijing-Guangzhou railway - China's main north-south train artery also saw delays after landslides hit a section of the track.

Heavy rains have swamped parts of China's southern coast, including Hong Kong. The city has seen heavy flooding in rural areas, but KK Yeung, a forecaster at the Hong Kong Observatory, said nearly three weeks of rainy weather should end by Monday. "We would expect a ridge of high pressure to sort of move in from the west, slowly replacing the trough of low pressure that is now affecting south China," he said.

Mr. Yeung said that high pressure will clear up the weather in the region. Further north, in South Korea, thousands of troops have been mobilized after a week of deluges caused at least 14 deaths and did widespread damage. Korean weather forecasters expect more heavy rain over the next few days.

Four teenagers were killed and several were injured Saturday in the South Korean city of Busan after a landslide triggered by heavy rain buried part of a home for disabled people.