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Published Thursday, October 5, 2017
More than 60 rivers in China were close to overflowing their of banks Wednesday after flooding killed more than 50 people and forced more than 1.2 million people to evacuate earlier this week.
According to China's Ministry of Civil Affairs, at least 56 people were killed and another 22 people are reported missing, and entire towns have been flooded, the Associated Press reports.
Since Thursday, nearly 20 inches of rain has fallen on numerous cities, including the scenic resort city of Guilin in the Guangxi region.
The storms triggered landslides and flooding that have affected more than 11 million people in 11 southern provinces.
According to the BBC, the Yangtze River and its many tributaries overflowed, compromising levees, damaging crops, destroying houses and forcing people to evacuate. In total, water levels in more than 60 rivers in southern China have risen above warning levels, the flood control authority said, Reuters reports.
In Hubei Province, authorities reduced water discharge by 70 percent Sunday at the Three Gorges Dam on the upper Yangtze, with the hope of alleviating some of the devastation.
"We hope the reduction of outflow will give soldiers and the people enough time to evacuate and stack up sand bags to battle the flood," Wu Zhaohui, an official with the water resources bureau in Hubei Province told Xinhua.
The storms interrupted transportation, leaving thousands stranded when dozens of flights at several airports serving major cities in the region, including Chengdu, Changsha, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, were canceled or delayed.
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