Floods in China kill at least 12, thousands evacuated

BEIJING — Flash floods in southwest and northwest China have claimed at least a dozen lives and put thousands more at risk, state media reported on Sunday.

In the southwestern province of Sichuan, at least six people have died and 12 others are missing after torrential rains triggered flash floods, state media CGTN reported.

Some 1,300 people had been evacuated on Saturday, according to the report.

Meanwhile, in the city of Longnan in the northwestern province of Gansu, six more deaths have been reported and 3,000 people have been evacuated, state broadcaster CCTV said. Rainfall in 1 1/2 days reached 98.9 millimeters (3.9 inches) in the worst affected areas, nearly double the July average.

The rains come amid a heatwave in parts of the country, including eastern Zhejiang province and the city of Shanghai, with temperatures reaching 42 degrees Celsius (107 Fahrenheit) last week.

Experts say such extreme weather events are becoming more likely due to climate change. Warmer air can store more water, leading to bigger showers when released.

The floods add to economic hardship caused in part by strict “zero-COVID” measures limiting travel and disrupting supply chains.

China is not the only country to experience extreme weather conditions this summer. In Germany, low water levels in the Rhine due to droughts have disrupted the supply chain for raw materials in the country. Heat waves have also hit the southern part of the United States, with temperatures expected to exceed 38°C (100°F) in the coming days.

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Post expires at 12:04pm on Friday July 22nd, 2022