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NORTHERN CHINA FIGHTS DROUGHT AS FLOODS SOAK SOUTH

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While north China battled drought, millions of soldiers and rescuers shored up dikes in south China, where some of the heaviest flooding this century has killed at least 520 people, official reports said Wednesday.

Among the worst hit areas was Qingyuan city in Guangdong Province, where floods killed at least 87 people and caused $149 million worth of damage, the China Daily said. Other reports said biscuits and drinking water were rushed in for hundreds of thousands of stranded people.Outside Qingyuan, in Liannan County, another 42 people died and 22 were missing, the newspaper said. It added that the death toll would likely rise as communications are restored to areas that were cut off.

The People's Daily warned that high tides expected June 25 could threaten Guangdong's Pearl River Delta, among China's richest areas, with the worst flooding since the 1949 Communist takeover of China.

In neigboring Hunan Province, where at least 120 people died, about 2 million people and soldiers fought floods that immersed parts of the provincial capital Changsha, the Xinhua News Agency said.