More than 2 million affected by China flooding

BEIJING – More than 2 million people have been displaced or otherwise affected by flooding in eastern China’s Zhejiang province that is also pushing up food prices, state media reported Sunday.

Torrential rains have left huge areas of the relatively wealthy province under water, with 422,500 acres (171,000 hectares) of farmland inundated, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Almost 1,000 businesses have been forced to suspend operations and 2.6 million people have had their lives disrupted, Xinhua said in a brief report. It said direct financial damage was estimated at almost 5 billion yuan ($772 million).

Flooding in eastern and southern China this month has left more than 170 people dead or missing. Roads and railways have been blocked, but aid supplies are arriving and the country’s weather bureau says skies are expected to clear up Monday.

Farmers quoted by Xinhua said the flooding was the worst in 20 years.

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