BEIJING: Sixteen people have been killed and dozens are missing in flash flooding in northwest China after a sudden downpour triggered mudslides and caused a river to change course, state media reported on Thursday (Aug 18).
The floods occurred in a mountainous region of Datong county in Qinghai province, affecting more than 6,200 people from six villages, state broadcaster CCTV said.
“As of noon on the 18th, 16 people have been killed and 36 are missing,” added CCTV, saying rescue work was ongoing.
The deluge comes during a summer of extreme weather in China, with multiple cities clocking their hottest days on record.
A video feed of the aftermath published by state media showed roads covered in mud, uprooted trees, damaged homes and rescue workers carrying shovels.
A “frontline headquarters” has been set up to organise the emergency response, according to the state media report.
“The rescue work is progressing in an orderly manner,” the report said, adding that sudden heavy rainfall Wednesday night had triggered the situation.
Scientists say extreme weather across the world has become more frequent due to climate change, and will likely grow more intense as temperatures rise.
Severe flooding in southern China in June displaced more than half a million people and caused an estimated US$250 million in damage.