WUHAN, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Floods and other natural disasters killed 600 people in the reaches of the Yangtze River in its May-October flood season, according to water authorities.
About 90 million people in 812 counties along the country's longest river were affected and 440,000 houses were brought down by disasters, said Hu Jiajun, spokesman for the Yangtze River Water Resources Commission.
The disasters caused direct economic loss of 43.4 billion yuan (5.8 billion U.S. dollars).
While no serious flooding occurred along the river, certain areas experienced record-high water levels or heavy rainfall, Hu said.
Chongqing, a major city along the river, experienced its worst storm in more than a century on July 17 when precipitation of up to 350 millimeters fell in 24 hours in certain areas. Floodwater inundated most of the municipality's downtown area.
In July, a record-high water level occurred on Qujiang River, a branch of the Yangtze's major tributary Jialing River. The flood crest at Qujiang's Luoduxi reached 0.33 meters higher than historical records.