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Heavy rains, landslides hit southern China, killing at least 45 before typhoon approaches

  • China-Floods-2

    In this Tuesday, July 15, 2014 photo, a woman sits in a doorway on a flooded street in Changsha in south China's Hunan province. Heavy rains have killed at least 18 people in southern China and a state news agency said six more were missing Thursday after a landslide. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT

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  • China-Floods-3

    In this Tuesday, July 15, 2014 photo, Chinese people wade through a flooded street in Changsha in south China's Hunan province. Heavy rains have killed at least 18 people in southern China and a state news agency said six more were missing Thursday after a landslide. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT

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  • Philippines-Asia-Storm-12

    A resident hangs clothes to dry Thursday, July 17, 2014, a day after Typhoon Rammasun hit Batangas city, 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Manila, Philippines. Typhoon Rammasun battered central and northern Philippines, knocking out power in many areas and damaged infrastructure. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

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  • Philippines-Asia-Storm-13

    A resident salvages items from the debris at a collapsed bridge today at Batangas city, 62 miles south of Manila, Philippines.

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  • Philippines-Asia-Storm-14

    Clothes are left to dry amidst fallen Banana trees Thursday, July 17, 2014, a day after Typhoon Rammasun hit Batangas city, 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Manila, Philippines. Typhoon Rammasun battered central and northern Philippines leaving dozens of people dead, knocking out power in many areas and damaged agriculture and infrastructure. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

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  • China-Floods-4

    In this Tuesday, July 15, 2014 photo, a Chinese man holds an umbrella while wading through a flooded street in Changsha in south China's Hunan province. Heavy rains have killed at least 18 people in southern China and a state news agency said six more were missing Thursday after a landslide. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT

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Philippines-Asia-Storm-13

A resident salvages items from the debris at a collapsed bridge today at Batangas city, 62 miles south of Manila, Philippines.

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BEIJING — Heavy rains and landslides over the past week have killed at least 45 people in southern China and left 21 others missing, the country’s Ministry of Civil Affairs and an official said Thursday.

Southern China was also bracing for the arrival of Typhoon Rammasun around midday Friday, with wind gusts expected to surpass 90 mph per hour. The typhoon has left at least 40 dead in the Philippines, where it uprooted trees and downed electrical posts Wednesday.

In Sichuan province, a landslide caused dirt and stone to hit a truck and four cars on a highway on Thursday afternoon, killing 11 people and injuring a further 19, according to an official in the province’s Maoxian county, who only gave her surname, Li.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs said in a statement that heavy rains and associated floods and landslides over the past week had killed 34 people and left 21 others missing in seven southern provinces. The bulk of these deaths and missing persons were in Guizhou and Hunan provinces.

The ministry said nearly 9,300 houses had collapsed in the rains, and a further 63,000 houses had been damaged. The rains had also affected 384,000 hectares of crops and caused direct economic losses of $840 million, it said.

Chinese state television showed flooding threatening the picturesque tourist town of Fenghuang in Hunan province, with a historic arched bridge barely emerging from floodwaters.

The rains reached the capital, Beijing, on Wednesday night and flooded some streets.

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