China's floods killed 673 people in 2012, up from previous year
Water Resources Minister Chen Lei said Saturday that the year was marked with above-average rain and snow in parts of China and a rainstorm in Beijing that killed 79 people in July.
In his speech posted on the ministry's website, Chen says mudslides killed about three-fourths of the year's death toll. He says floods affected 184 Chinese cities and 120 million people in 2012.
China's floods killed 519 people in 2011, but the death toll soared to 3,222 in 2010 because of major floods, including a severe mudslide that killed at least 1,471.
Deforestation has caused soil erosion and made parts of China prone to mudslides after strong rains.
Wtih files from The Associated Press