China says flooding has killed 337 this year

BEIJING (AP) — Flooding in China this year has left at least 337 people dead and 213 missing, due mainly to unusually wet summer weather, the government said Sunday.

Floods this year have struck across 30 provinces and municipalities and affected more than 47 million people, according to the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

The headquarters said landslides have accounted for 202, or about 60 percent, of the confirmed deaths.

China saw an average of 165.4 millimeters (6.51 inches) of rain between June 1 and July 15. That was 5 percent more than usual and the most during that period in five years. Central China has been hardest hit, receiving 40.1 percent more rain than usual during that six-week period.

China’s worst floods in recent history were in 1998, when 4,150 people died, most along the Yangtze River, China’s mightiest.

The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydropower project, was intended to control renewed flooding along the river. But water levels in the massive reservoir behind the dam stood at more than 149 meters (489 feet) on Sunday, 4 meters (13 feet) above the flood warning mark.

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