Death toll from southwest China flooding rises to 55 |

Death toll from southwest China flooding rises to 55

BEIJING – Rescuers in southwest China sought help from the military Monday as they searched for dozens of people missing in torrential floods. The death toll rose to 55, state media reported.

Days of heavy rain in Sichuan, a province prone to seasonal flooding, unleashed mudslides and mountain torrents that have trapped hundreds of people in their houses, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The downpours began Thursday and were forecast to last through Tuesday, the agency said.

The beleaguered provincial government appealed for help from the nation’s air force in reaching people trapped by the rising waters, Xinhua said.

In hard-hit Dazhou, floods caused roads to cave and destroyed highways, isolating the city’s downtown, it said. In addition to the 55 people killed across the province, 52 others were missing, the report said.

The flooded area is about 700 miles southwest of Beijing.