Flooding in China’s Hebei Kills 114, Causes $2.5 Billion Losses

  • Government says 111 still missing, while 309,000 evacuated
  • Nation’s worst flooding since 1998 seen paring 3Q growth

Flooding in China’s northern Hebei province has killed 114 people and led to direct losses of 16.4 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) to the economy, according to the latest statement from the local government.

At least 308,900 people have been evacuated and 111 are missing, according to the statement released late Saturday. About 53,000 houses have collapsed from the floods and 30,000 hectares of crop have been destroyed, the Hebei government said.

Separately, the Xinhua News Agency Sunday reported that four officials have been suspended for what it said was inadequate handling of the crisis. They are currently being being investigated, the state-run agency said, adding that Beijing has sent in state councilor Wang Yong to oversee disaster relief and relocation work.

China’s worst flooding since 1998 may cut third-quarter economic growth by as much as 0.2 percentage points, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. Gross domestic product expanded 6.7 percent in the three months through June, matching first-quarter growth that was the slowest since 2009.

The biggest drag in the third quarter will be from agricultural output, according to more than half of the 15 economists in the survey. Almost all said construction and infrastructure will get the biggest lift in the fourth quarter amid rebuilding efforts.

— With assistance by Rachel Chang

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