China

Dozens Killed in Chinese Storms, Floods

Southwest China hit hard

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Rainstorms that are said to be the worst in five decades have flooded large areas of southwest China, washing out bridges, setting off a landslide that buried dozens of people, and destroying a memorial to victims of the devastating 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province that flattened large parts of the same area. The state news media reported Wednesday that heavy rains, which began last weekend, have killed more than 50 people across China and disrupted two million lives.

The worst flooding, in mountainous areas of Sichuan that include some of China's most spectacular scenery, highlights the challenges of encouraging construction in places that are prone to heavy downpours and seismic activity. Some experts, citing frequent earthquakes and soil erosion caused by deforestation, have argued against the continued development of towns and cities along the Min, Fu and Jian Rivers, which snake through the steep canyons of the region.

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