At least 175 people have died from a month of flooding in China with another 83 people missing, the country's Ministry of Civil Affairs said Monday, CNN reports.
And more rains are predicted for parts of China in the next several days, Bloomberg reports.
More than 1.6 million people have been evacuated from 13 southern and eastern provinces already affected by flooding cause by rainfall that began on June 3.
(From Global Post in China: South China Sea: China vs. Vietnam)
The flooding has destroyed at least 8,400 houses in Zhejiang province alone, a provincial agency said.
The direct economic loss is calculated at $4.9 billion, while the flooding has reportedly also pushed food prices up.
According to Sky News:
Prices for green vegetables were up 40 percent, adding to an inflation rate of 5.5 percent — a three-year high.
Large areas of Hubei and Zhejiang provinces are reportedly underwater.
In Hubei, farmers told Xinhua that it was the worst flooding they'd seen in 20 years. More than one million acres of farmland had been inundated and nearly 1,000 businesses forced to suspend operations.
Meanwhile, more than 4.4 million have been affected by the flooding in Zhejiang of Monday morning, according to the Zhejiang Flood Control Office. About 292,000 have been evacuated, according to the agency's website.
China's National Meteorological Center said Monday that heavy rain is forecast to hit Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces before moving east to Henan and Shandong, Bloomberg reports. Rain in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River would however ease, it said on its website.
However, Bllomberg writes:
while the downpours brought floods to central regions, closing airports and roads, they helped end the worst drought in decades, restoring reservoirs and aiding crops in the world’s biggest grower of cotton and rice.