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China: Rains and landslides leave several dead

June 18, 2024

Authorities have launched rescue efforts following floods across southern China. The north of the country, meanwhile, is facing a drought.

A building collapses due to flooding in a screen grab in Meizhou city.
Power has been cut off across many villagesImage: Video obtained by Reuters/via REUTERS

Heavy rains and resulting landslides killed at least nine people in Southern China and disrupted power in some villages, authorities said on Tuesday. 

Torrential rains started on Sunday, with 372.4 millimeters (14.7 inches) of rainfall measured over a 24-hour period. 

Which Chinese provinces have been affected by the floods?

In Wuping county in Fujian, four people died due to landslides. More than 300 houses collapsed and more than 2,000 acres of crops were damaged in the county, said Xinhua news agency.

At least five were killed in the Guangdong province near Hong Kong and fifteen more were reported missing.

In Meizhou city, more than 130,000 households had their electricity cut off, and some neighboring towns and villages were affected as well.  "Five people have died, with 15 people missing" near Meizhou, reported CCTV.

More than 1,100 were evacuated from the Guizhou province.

The Hanjiang river in the Pearl River basin was flooded, affecting fields and homes in the area.

In Jiangxi province, the average rainfall was 24 mm from Sunday to Monday.

Heavy rains in Chongqing caused water levels of five rivers to rise by 1 to 3 meters, according to CCTV.

Rescue teams have been making efforts to look for survivors, and three helicopters have been deployed as well, said local authorities. Warnings and advisories have been issued in several localities.

Drought in the north

This comes as the northern part is facing another extreme weather scenario in the form of a drought. Much of the northern parts of the country, including the capital Beijing, have had high temperatures. The national weather bureau predicted rainfall in the next 10 days. 

China experienced floods last month as well, where several people died and some went missing, as per the Ministry of Emergency Management.

China is one of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters in the world. Scientists say these emissions are responsible for extreme weather events such as floods and droughts.

China struggles with extreme rain and heat

tg/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters)