5 Dead in Latest Flooding in Southern China Rainstorms

BEIJING (AP) -- Rainstorms have killed five more people in a southern Chinese region already reeling from heavy flooding over the past week.

The government of Zunyi city, south of the metropolis of Chongqing, said Saturday that five people had died and eight others were missing after storms that began late Thursday night.

A statement on the government's website said at least 13,000 people had been evacuated, more than 2,000 homes damaged and multiple sections of roads and three bridges destroyed in the city in Guizhou province.

Earlier storms left 13 dead in nearby Hunan province and the Guangxi region.

Seasonal flooding regularly strikes the lower regions of China’s major river systems, particularly those of the Yangtze and the Pearl to the south.

More than 200,000 people have been forced to seek shelter and economic losses are estimated at more than $500 million, the Ministry of Emergency Management said earlier in the week.

Guangxi’s crucial tourism sector, already hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, has been set back further by the floods. The region is home to the city of Guilin, famous for its landscape of karst rock formations.

Authorities have sought to mitigate flooding through the construction of dams, such as the massive Three Gorges structure on the Yangtze.