This year's flood situation in China is no more severe than the average year and far better than in 1991 and 1998, an official disaster report said Friday.
The report released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs said that some 569 people have been killed during the year's floods and direct economic losses of 39.87 billion yuan (about US$4.8 billion) have been caused.
As of July 10, 9.559 million hectares of farmland had been affected and some 1.458 million hectares had suffered total crop failure.
The normal lives and production of nearly 140 million people has been affected, with 51,000 people struck ill or injured and 2.292 million people having been evacuated.
The ministry did not give losses from previous years, but according to reports, in 1998, more than 2,000 people were killed in seasonal floods.
As the rainfall along the Huaihe River Valley still continues, the flood situation in Hubei and Hunan Provinces along the lower reaches of the Yangtze River is deteriorating fast, posing a great challenge to the country's emergency rescue capabilities, said the report.
Currently, the ministry has provided 35,000 tents and cooperated with the Ministry of Finance to allocate a total of 110.9 million yuan in relief funds (about US$13.36 million) to the 11 flood-hit regions of Jiangxi, Fujian, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan, Guizhou and Chongqing.
Most of the casualties were caused by landslides and mud-rock flow in the hilly areas of Guizhou Province and Chongqing Municipality.
(Xinhua News Agency July 12, 2003)