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Flooding in China kills 41; 33 missing

BEIJING -- A new round of flooding across central China has killed 41 people, state media reported Friday, bringing the total killed in seasonal flooding this year to at least 95.

Torrential rains from Thursday night until early Friday triggered floods and landslides that toppled homes and destroyed river embankments in Xiannang city in Hubei province, killing 22 people and leaving five others missing, a spokesman with the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said.

Nearly 111,000 people were stranded by floods in the city, the spokesman said, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Among the stranded were 209 children in Xiannang's Chongyang county, where a primary school was surrounded by water, the spokesman was quoted as saying.

Chongyang's county chief Chen Wubin said rescuers had approached the school by midday Friday and the students had taken refuge on the second floor and were in no imminent danger.

In the city's submerged Tongcheng county, over 11.8 inches (300 millimeters) of rainfall fell within four hours, a record volume, while flood waters in its low-lying areas were more than 6 feet (2 meters) deep, Xinhua reported. Electricity and telephone services had been cut off by the floods.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Hunan province, 19 people died and another 28 were missing after landslides occurred early Friday, Xinhua said.

Floods also wreaked havoc in southeast China. In Jiangxi province's Xiushui county, about 26,000 people were evacuated and 1,200 stranded after their homes were hit by torrential rains early Friday.

Meanwhile, a tropical storm may become the first to land in China this year, local meteorological authorities said Friday.

Tropical Storm Sarika was located about 330 miles (530 kilometers) south of the city of Shantou in southern Guangdong province and was predicted to make landfall in Guangdong or nearby Fujian province Saturday, according to the provincial meteorological station.

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 Flooding in China kills 41; 33 missing 
In this photo taken on Wednesday, June 8, floodwaters wash down from the hillside in Xinhua, central China's Hunan province. A new round of flooding across central China has killed 41 people, state media reported Friday, bringing the total killed in seasonal flooding this year to at least 95. (AFP)

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