SCMP Friday, July 27, 2001

Monster flash flood kills 30

REUTERS in Beijing

Updated at 1.56pm:
A monster flash flood, the biggest in 100 years in the mountainous area of the northwestern province of Gansu, killed at least 30 people, a local official said on Friday.
The flash flood, which left 16 people missing, was triggered by just 40 minutes of torrential rain on Tuesday and was of a size and ferocity not seen in the last century, an official with the Min county government said.
Min county is susceptible to sudden summer floods every year, but the scale of this flood was frightful, he said.
The semi-official China News Service said the flood had waves up to six metres high and swept away dozens of houses, cut communications and destroyed roads.
The official said it had caused an estimated 40 million yuan (US$5 million) in direct economic losses to the mountainous county, some 300km south of the provincial capital of Lanzhou.
The disaster had prompted the State Council to dispatch a relief team consisting of high-ranking officials to oversee rescue and rebuilding work, the China News Service said.