Thousands stranded, five killed, as heavy rain lashes south China

Residential houses and cars are seen submerged in floodwaters following heavy rainfall in Taihe county, Jian, Jiangxi province, China June 10, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Thousands of people have been stranded and at least five killed amid torrential rain throughout central and southern China, with authorities bracing themselves for at least another four days of downpours, state media reported on Tuesday.

The official China Daily said floods had wiped out 10,800 hectares of crops and destroyed hundreds of houses in the Jiangxi province by Monday, with a total of 1.4 million people affected and direct economic losses amounting to 2.65 billion yuan ($382.41 million).

In the region of Guangxi in the southwest, 20,000 households had their power cut and roads, bridges and other infrastructures were severely damaged, the China Daily said.

Rainfall in Jiangxi reached as much as 688 millimeters (27 inches), according to a notice by China’s meteorological administration. It said rain in parts of Jiangxi and Hunan had hit record highs for June.

The administration said rainstorms were expected to spread to Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Yunnan, Sichuan and Taiwan by Thursday. It also warned authorities to be on their guard against severe thunderstorms and the possibility of small rivers bursting their banks in coming days.

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Paul Tait)

Five dead, four wounded in shooting at Catholic cathedral in Brazil

General view of the Catholic cathedral where a gunman opened fire to the faithful, in Campinas, Brazil, December 11, 2018 REUTERS/Ricardo Lima

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – A gunman entered a Catholic cathedral in the Brazilian city of Campinas on Tuesday and fatally shot four people attending midday mass before killing himself at the altar, fire department officials said.

Four elderly people were seriously wounded by the man, who began shooting at the congregation with two guns, according to a spokesman with the fire department in Campinas, an industrial city 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Sao Paulo, where the shooting took place.

“It was frightful,” witness Alexandre Moraes told the GloboNews channel. “He entered and shot randomly at people. They were all praying.”

The wounded were taken to a hospital in Campinas.

Firemen at the scene said they had not identified the gunman.

Brazil had nearly 64,000 murders last year – more than any other country, according to the United Nations. However, random mass shootings are relatively rare, with few American-style shootings in schools or other public areas.

(Reporting by Tatiana Ramil and Anthony Boadle; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Bill Trott)