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baccaratde|China Focus: Rescue efforts ramp up after rainstorms leave 38 dead in south China county

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GUANGZHOUbaccaratde, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Rainfall-triggered disasters have left 38 people dead and two others missing in Pingyuan County in south China's Guangdong Province as of 3 pbaccaratde.m. Friday, local authorities said.

Heavy rains battered the county from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on June 16, triggering landslides, flooding and mud flows.

Since entering its flood season on April 4, Pingyuan's cumulative precipitation has reached 1,221.6 mm, almost double the normal level for the period in past years.

"This is the worst flooding the village has ever seen," said Qiu Zhimiao, 42, who is from Daxin Village in Pingyuan and works in the county. After hearing that Daxin had been affected by the flooding, Qiu volunteered to return to the village with the first rescue helicopter to assist with the local rescue work.

Daxin Village is located deep in the mountains of Pingyuan. The heavy rains over recent days at one point blocked all roads to the village, making it an isolated island accessible only by helicopter.

Preliminary statistics show that some 55,388 people in the county have been affected and 2,247 houses have collapsed. Direct economic losses are estimated at an approximate total of 5.85 billion yuan (about 822 million U.S. dollars).

In response to the torrential rains and flooding, authorities have mobilized all-out efforts to safeguard the people.

On Monday morning, the first group of 11 rescue workers arrived in Daxin Village by helicopter. By the afternoon on Wednesday, local authorities had dispatched approximately 150 rescue personnel and over 1,000 tonnes of food, medicine and equipment by helicopter to the village. On Thursday, road access to Daxin was restored.

As of Wednesday morning, about 1,500 rescue personnel have been dispatched to Pingyuan and at least 43 roads to the county have been repaired.

To prevent the post-flood outbreak of infectious diseases, local authorities have rapidly organized disinfection work in Pingyuan's affected townships.

On the main streets of Tuanxi Village in the township of Chagan, most flooded areas have been restored following days of dredging and disinfection work.

Due to recent high temperatures and serious damage to roads, Tuanxi is working to disinfect the whole village before Saturday, said Ling Hao, deputy Party chief of Chagan.

Relevant government departments are also testing water quality and disinfecting water sources to ensure the safety of drinking water in affected areas, said Rao Lianghong, deputy director of the Pingyuan County center for disease control and prevention.

Further rescue, disaster-relief and post-disaster reconstruction efforts are underway.

baccaratde|China Focus: Rescue efforts ramp up after rainstorms leave 38 dead in south China county