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China Floods Record*

Floods sweep China's arid Xinjiang region, killing 11

July 29, 2002 Posted: 9:39 PM EDT (0139 GMT)

BEIJING, China (Reuters) -- A week of pounding rain has caused widespread floods which killed at least 11 people in northwest China's normally arid Xinjiang region, the official Xinhua news agency reported late on Monday.

Thousands of houses collapsed, leaving about 2,300 people homeless, it said.

The agency said more rain was possible in the region, the latest part of China swept by summer floods which began earlier than usual this year and have already killed more than 800 people.

Floods destroyed 30 km (20 miles) of dikes in Xinjiang's Baicheng county, killed 11 people and caused damage worth 160 million yuan ($20 million) from July 21 to July 29, Xinhua quoted local officials as saying.

Twenty rivers in the region were at dangerous levels, seven of them at record highs, in an area where few anti-flood measures have been taken because inundations are so rare, Xinhua said.

In contrast, thousands of workers are reinforcing dikes along the flood prone Yangtze and Yellow rivers in anticipation of heavy rain forecast for the next few days swelling rivers to danger point.

(Original Len: 1475 Condensed Len: 1676)

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