1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

China floods: Over a dozen dead amid torrential rains

July 5, 2023

Chinese officials have warned the country — also battling intense heat waves — to expect "multiple natural disasters" including typhoons in July.

Rescue workers evacuate stranded residents on a flooded street
Chongqing floods have forced thousands to move out of their homes. Image: Cnsphoto/REUTERS

Heavy downpours have killed 15 people in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing, state media reported on Wednesday.

President Xi Jinping has called for greater efforts to protect the public from extreme weather conditions.

"The latest round of torrential rains since Monday has killed 15 people and left four others missing in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality as of 7 a.m. Wednesday," state news agency Xinhua said, citing the local authorities. 

Chongqing floods have forced thousands to move out of their homes, with around 85,000 people having been evacuated amid heavy rains.

Chinese officials have warned that China is set to face "multiple natural disasters in July, including floods, severe convection weather, typhoons and high temperatures."

Workers clean up silt and mud along a street in the Wanzhou district of Chongqing
A working group has been dispatched to Chongqing early on Wednesday morning to oversee disaster relief efforts.Image: Ran Mengjun/Xinhua/AP Photo/picture alliance

What Xi Jinping said about the floods in China

Meanwhile, Xi ordered that "authorities at all levels must give top priority to ensuring people's safety and property," Chinese state media said.

"Xi underlined that leading officials at all levels must take the lead in fighting the floods, put the people's safety and property first, and strive to minimize all kinds of losses," the agency added.

Floods have caused 227.8 million yuan ($31.5 million, €28.9 million) worth of economic losses in the Wanzhou district located in the northeast of Chongqing.

Residents salvage their belongings after heavy rainfall flooded Wanzhou district
More than a dozen people have been killed by floods in southwestern China as seasonal torrents hit mountain areasImage: Cnsphoto/REUTERS

Xi called on the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters and the ministries to improve their coordination and warnings. 

The effect of extreme weather in China

In recent weeks, China has been witnessing torrential rains that triggered devastating floods and deadly mudslides, while hail storms and unusually high temperatures have brought misery to many parts of the country.

Many people suspect that it is the result of global warming.

Scientists warn that rising global temperatures — caused largely by burning fossil fuels – increase the likelihood of extreme weather events such as flash floods and heatwaves experienced in many Asian countries in recent weeks. 

This week's torrential rains in Chongqing are said to be one of the deadliest natural disasters to occur in China so far.

Drought in China brings climate change close to home

ara/wd (Reuters, AFP)