The worst flooding in southern China in nearly half a century forced the evacuation of 130,000 villagers, state media said on Thursday, as the number of people killed this week by floods and landslides across Asia climbed to more than 130.
Heavy rains lashed the island province of Hainan, forcing 550 villages to evacuate and leaving thousands homeless, streets flooded and roads damaged, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Two people were missing and no casualties had been reported by Thursday morning.
At least 7 inches (18 centimetres) of rain fell in 16 cities over the past week, the Hainan provincial government website said. More rains and strong winds are expected through Friday.
Meanwhile, villagers in neighbouring Vietnam began to return home as the death toll from this week’s heavy flooding rose to 48, with 23 others missing, disaster officials and the government said.
In the worst-hit province of Quang Binh, 33 people died and 19 others were missing, said disaster official Nguyen Ngoc Giai. About 20,000 people were evacuated from their flooded homes in the area.
Elsewhere in Vietnam, seven people died and one was missing in Ha Tinh province, five died and three were missing in Nghe An and three others were killed in Quang Tri, according to the national floods and storms control committee.
Further south in Indonesia, rescuers searching for survivors cleared away debris in the hardest-hit village of Wasior where residents had been washed away early this week when a river burst its banks. Rescue efforts were hindered after floods blocked off roads and damaged bridges.
Eighty-seven bodies had been pulled from the mud and the wreckage of crumpled homes, said Sutrisno, the deputy head of the National Disaster Management Agency, adding that with nearly 70 people still missing, the death toll was expected to rise.
More than 150 others have been hospitalized with injuries, most with broken bones.