SHIJIAZHUANG, China, 24th July, 2016 (WAM) — Torrential rain and floods have left 114 people dead and 111 others missing in north China’s Hebei Province as of 6 p.m. local time on Saturday, according to the provincial civil affairs bureau.

Local authorities have evacuated nearly 310,000 people, the China state-run news agency, Xinhua, reported on Sunday.

Flooding and rain-triggered landslides have caused the collapse of 52,900 houses and damage to a further 155,000. Over 700,000 hectares of crops have also been destroyed, leading to direct economic losses estimated at over 16 billion Yuan (2.4 billion US Dollars).

The local government has also sent 15 working teams into 12 flooded villages to investigate the situation, comfort villagers and carry out epidemic prevention.

Chinese Vice Premier, Wang Yang, presided over a national meeting on flood control and disaster relief in Beijing on Saturday, urging governments at all levels to put the safety of the people first and strengthen flood control measures.

The provincial government allocated 105 million Yuan ($15.7 million) of emergency funds for the worst-hit places to help with relief work.

WAM/tfaham/Moran