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More than 700 dead in Chinese floods

(CNN) -- Torrential flooding across much of the nation has left 701 dead and hundreds missing, China's
vice minister of water resources said.
At least 347 people are missing, Liu Ning told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday.
Ninety-percent of the casualties were caused by mountain floods, mudslides and landslides triggered by
heavy downpours. About 645,500 houses had collapsed, he said.
More than 230 rivers were above warning levels; 25 of them saw their highest levels ever, he said.
More than 100 cities flooded, he said.
Liu cited torrential downpours between June 13 and June 27, and heavy rain on July 8 in southern China
as particularly damaging.
"In southern China, the rainfall is 30 to 100 percent higher than the historical average," he said.
The Three Gorges Dam saw its biggest peak runoff and the rains resulted in "various disasters hitting
many regions," he said.
The floods have affected 117 million people in 27 provinces and seven cities.
"We have made effective arrangement to examine the dikes, to replenish disaster prevention materials,
trained forces in disaster relief and rehabilitated water projects to make full preparation for the floods," Liu
He estimated the cost at 142.2 billion yuan, or $21 billion.
Meteorologists have predicted six to eight typhoons will hit China this year, bringing further flooding.
Many problems were discovered in the small reservoirs.
"There are many weak links. We need to reinforce many medium-size and small dams," Liu said.
But, he added, repairs made since the floods of 1998 have improved the country's capacity to deal with

Earthquake shakes southern Iran, injuring 15

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — State TV says a strong earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 has shaken southern
Iran, injuring 15 people. Iranian state TV says the quake on Wednesday shook Ashkenan, a region near
Lamerd in southern Iran. The TV report quotes Tehran University's Geophysics Institute as saying that
seven small quakes with magnitudes of 3.5 to 5.2 jolted the region following the main quake. No other
details were immediately available. Iran is located on seismic fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. It
experiences at least one slight earthquake every day on average.

Officials Say 33 killed in Clashes in Yemen

SAN'A, Yemen -- Yemeni officials say 33 people have been killed in four days of fighting between
government-allied tribes and northern rebels. The clashes are the most serious in the northern province of
Amran since the government and northern rebels signed a cease-fire in February to end years of bloody
conflict. Local officials and tribesmen said Tuesday the fighting started after a government-allied tribe
ambushed northern rebels. Medical and security officials said 12 rebels and 21 tribesmen were killed. The
officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The
rebels accused Yemen's army of backing the fighting. Yemen's president said the clashes erupted
between zealous supporters from each side.