WUHAN TIANHE, China, Aug 23 (INP) The first batch of rice donated by Pakistan to flood-stricken areas in central China's Hubei province arrived at Wuhan Tianhe airport on Aug. 22. The Hubei provincial government held a handover ceremony at the airport for the first 22 tons of rice. According to the donation plan, Pakistan will donate a total of 10,000 tons for disaster relief.

At the handover ceremony, Yang Xiaodong, deputy director of the disaster relief division of China's Ministry of Civil Affairs, thanked the Pakistani government for its generous donation and said that the gesture fully reflected the deep friendship between Pakistan and China.

Ali Ahmed Arain, Consul General of the Pakistani consulate in Guangzhou, said at the ceremony that Pakistan has always paid close attention to events happening in China. Since the Chinese people are working hard to reconstruct their homes after the disaster, the Pakistani government decided to offer a helping hand.

The Pakistani government will soon ship the rest of the donation to Wuhan.

Since the start of the rainy season in June, Hubei has experienced six rounds of heavy rainfall. The flooding has caused great damage across the region. From June 18 to July 31, a total of 98 counties and cities have been affected by flooding, with affected persons reaching 17.85 million. A total of 2.18 million hectares of farmland were flooded, 57,300 houses collapsed and 1.55 million people forced to temporarily relocate.