Flooding has resulted in the death of 232 people and left 55 people missing nationwide so far this year, with southern China reporting the majority of victims, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said Tuesday.

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About 59.32 million people in 29 provincial regions were affected by flooding and waterlogging as of Monday, causing direct economic losses of 117.6 billion yuan (18.4 billion U.S. dollars), statistics from the headquarters showed.

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Damage caused by flooding and waterlogging this year was less severe compared with previous years, and the death toll in the period was the lowest in history, said Zhang Jiatuan, a senior official at the headquarters.

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The most severely affected provincial areas included the provinces of Fujian, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, Zhang added.