China rain toll climbs to 95

Torrential rains have ravaged 17 provinces across China, killing at least 95 people, including 37 in Beijing municipality and affecting over 6 million people over the past three days, officials said on Monday.

Natural disasters caused by the downpours have affected about 6.23 million people in 264 counties in 17 provincial areas and forced the evacuation of about 567,000 people, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

The ministry reported 37 deaths in Beijing municipality, 17 deaths and 21 missing in Hebei province, 8 deaths and two missing in Sichuan province, six deaths and four missing in Yunnan province, five deaths in Chongqing municipality, four deaths and one missing in Shanxi province, three deaths in Inner Mongolia autonomous region, three deaths and 14 missing in Shaanxi province.

Twelve people were killed in other Chinese provinces.

Rainstorms also destroyed 29,000 houses and damaged another 55,000, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

National disaster relief and civil affairs authorities initiated  a fourth-grade emergency response and sent teams to the worst-affected  Beijing and Hebei on Sunday to direct relief work.

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