World Bulletin / News Desk
At least 237 fatalities were recorded after more than 1,508 counties in 28 provinces -- the hardest-hit located in the country’s center and southeast -- suffered from flooding since mid-June.
The China Daily cited a spokesman for the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters as saying that authorities would "prepare for the worst and strive for the best".
"Although the water levels in middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River are slowly dropping, most are still above warning levels," Zhang Jiatuan told reporters Thursday.
He revealed that around 147,200 houses were destroyed, more than 5.46 million hectares of farmland flooded, with direct economic losses recorded at 147 billion yuan ($22 billion).
Zhang described conditions as "still quite critical" with central and eastern China forecast to experience heavy rain in coming days, and underlined that "the possibility of flooding in northern rivers can not be ruled out" during the rainy season.
More than 23,000 soldiers have been deployed in the provinces of Anhui, Jiangxi, Fujian and Jiangsu.
Meanwhile, local authorities in Fujian said 69 people were confirmed dead and six others remained missing after a tropical storm, Nepartak, made landfall last Saturday.