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Heavy Rains in Southern China Kill 200, Threaten Others


Floods caused by more than a week of heavy rain in southern China have killed nearly 200 people, and left more that 100 others missing.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao called Tuesday for all-out efforts to combat floods and save lives after a dike collapsed in eastern Jiangxi province, threatening 145,000 residents.

Soldiers were dispatched to help with rescue work in the province's Fuzhou City, where Fuhe River burst its bank Monday night.

Officials said millions of residents in 10 provinces have been affected by the wet weather since June 13. The death toll from floods has reached 199 and 123 people are missing. About 2.5 million people had to be evacuated.

Weather forecasters say a new round of heavy rain is expected in coming days.

Downpours in the past 10 days have caused surges in several rivers, including the Pearl River. Strong storms have collapsed reservoirs and damaged property throughout China's south.

China's official news agency Xinhua said Tuesday heavy downpours and resulting mudslides also have destroyed about 195,000 houses and damaged more than half a million others in the region. Total economic losses so far are estimated at more than $6 billion.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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