At least 15 people died from heavy rains and flooding in the northern Chinese region of Shanxi, which received three times the average monthly rainfall in a week, local authorities said on Tuesday (12).
“Fifteen people died and three are still missing,” said local emergency service director Wang Qirui.
In addition, 19,000 buildings were destroyed and another 18,000 “seriously damaged” due to this extreme phenomenon.
At least 1.7 million Shanxi residents were affected by the floods and 120,000 had to leave their homes to safety, he added.
The floods forced the temporary closure of 60 coal mines in this province west of Beijing, one of the main producers of this material, just at a time of energy shortage that has caused numerous blackouts in China.
All but four returned to normal operation, Wang said.
Photos published by the local Shanxi Evening News showed traffic agents carrying children on their backs with water in their waists.
According to the Xinhua agency, in Shanxi, a province where it does not usually rain, in just five days the triple amount of rain that usually occurs throughout the month of October fell. Rains that, according to forecasts, should continue.
Several regions of China have been hit by unprecedented rains this year.
In central Henan province, 300 people died after a three-day flood in which they recorded a year-long rainfall.
And during the northern summer, thousands of people were made homeless in the provinces of Hubei and Sichuan, also in the center, by torrential rains.
Experts argue that these extreme weather events are increasing due to climate change.
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