Flooding has caused $25 billion direct damage to the Chinese economy

The torrential rainfall in China this year killed more than 200 people an caused  $25 billion in direct damage, an emergency management official said Thursday.

The floods struck major river systems across the central and southern parts of the China.

Major cities have been largely spared by the flooding, but the impact compounds losses to the economy from the cocornavirus outbreak that began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

Vice Minister of Emergency Management Zhou Xuewen told reporters 219 people were listed as dead or missing and 54,000 homes had been destroyed.

Economic losses of US$ 25.7 million were 15.9% higher than the average from flood damage over the past five years.

China has the world’s second-largest economy, but growth has slowed amid rising costs and market saturation at home.

While it has largely contained the spread of COVID-19, strong concerns remain over employment and the fate of its export markets amid the continuing trade war with the United States.

READ: President Xi Jinping’s launches campaign against food waste amid pandemic and historic flooding