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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 July, 2004, 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK
China flood death toll nears 400
Flood waters nearly submerged homes along the Yuanjiang river in Changde
Some areas are flooded, while others are suffering drought
China is warning of more floods and typhoons as the death toll from the summer rains approaches 400.

Official figures say more than a million people have been relocated from their homes so far this year because of extreme weather conditions.

BBC correspondent Louisa Lim says there have been angry recriminations after a massive storm hit Beijing on a day when no rain was predicted.

Officials pledge forecasts will improve by 2008 when China hosts the Olympics.

The north of China has suffered severe droughts, while heavy rains have caused flooding in southern and central areas.

More than 650 people have been killed this year by natural disasters, which have cost more than $4bn in damage.

Three typhoons are forecast to hit China next month, according to the China Daily newspaper.

"More disastrous flooding or water-logging is likely to occur," Zhang Guocai, an official of the China Meteorological Administration, is quoted as saying.

Already, more than 350,000 people are thought to have been left stranded by rising rivers and lakes in Hunan province.

The water level in Hunan's Dongting Lake, China's biggest body of fresh water, is still rising, and flood waters have nearly submerged homes along the Yuanjiang river, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Premier Wen Jiabao has urged local governments to take measures to ensure fewer lives are lost.

Hundreds dead in China floods
08 Jul 04  |  Asia-Pacific
China steps up flood fight
11 Jul 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Managing China's water
24 Mar 03  |  Asia-Pacific
'Living with floods'
21 Mar 03  |  Science/Nature


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