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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 July 2006, 05:40 GMT 06:40 UK
Chinese storm kills more than 180
Destruction in Fujian province
Thousands of buildings have been destroyed
At least 188 people are now known to have died in southern China from tropical storm Bilis, according to state media reports.

More than 100 people are still missing, and thousands more have seen their homes and crops destroyed by floods and landslides.

Rescue teams have been wading through flooded streets to reach thousands of people stranded by the high water.

More heavy rains have been forecast in the area in the coming days.

Hardest-hit was the inland province of Hunan, where at least 92 people were killed after Bilis hit on Friday, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Thousands of homes have been swept away, and large areas of farmland have been destroyed.

Map of southern China

Most people died in the flooding on Friday, but the death toll in Hunan also includes 14 people who were killed when the colliery they were working in was flooded on Saturday, Xinhua said.

In Guangdong province, where an estimated 44 people died, flooding cut the main Beijing-Guangzhou railway line, stranding thousands of passengers.

Thousands of workers have been sent to the area to repair the track, although it is expected to take another few days before trains can run again as normal.

Elsewhere, 43 people were killed in the coastal province of Fujian, and a further nine in Gunagxi.

Typhoon Bilis hit Philippines and Taiwan before landing on the Chinese mainland on Friday and being downgraded to a tropical storm.

The storm is the latest severe weather to affect China. At least 349 people died last month after storms and torrential rain battered parts of the country.

Seasonal heavy rains and typhoons causes hundreds of deaths in China each year. But meteorologists have predicted this summer will be particularly bad, with warm Pacific currents causing more typhoons than usual.

See the damage caused by the floods in China

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