Extreme Weather Ravages China: 4 Dead, Dozens Missing

At least four people were killed when record rains pounded portions of southern China on Tuesday, according to official media, while more than a dozen people went missing even as the north had some of its highest temperatures this year.

Downpours “exceeding historical daily maximums” in some areas of Fujian province killed four people, according to state news agency Xinhua, citing Shanghang County’s flood control center.

According to Xinhua, the extreme weather has affected over 66,000 residents in the county, with communications and energy infrastructure still not entirely restored. It also warned of potential landslides.

It stated that “investigations into the situations of affected people” were ongoing.

Landslides in adjacent Meizhou, Guangdong province, killed five people on Monday, left 15 missing, and “trapped” another 13 by early morning, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
CCTV footage showed flipped automobiles and damaged houses near Meizhou, as locals in rubber boots searched through muddy, debris-laden streets for their valuables.

Other photographs showed sections of the highway being swept away by landslides, as well as rescue workers in orange lifejackets piloting dinghies through floodwaters to reach trapped residents.

According to Xinhua, Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged emergency workers to “make every effort to respond to disaster situations and do a good job of relief and rescue work to combat flooding and drought”.

He directed rescuers to “ensure the safety of people’s lives and property, as well as overall social stability,” according to the statement.

Flooding has also affected the southern and central provinces of Guangxi and Hunan, as well as the northwestern region of Xinjiang, where Xinhua reported on Tuesday that four people were missing following a flash flood near the city of Changji.

At the same time, China’s north is suffering from some of the year’s warmest weather.On Tuesday, temperatures in the capital Beijing and the surrounding provinces of Tianjin and Hebei were anticipated to reach 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the National Meteorological Centre.

Authorities have also rushed to provide drought prevention and disaster aid in seven provinces in China’s north, east, and centre.

China is experiencing harsh weather this summer, which scientists believe is being exacerbated by climate change.

China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, which contribute significantly to climate change.


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