Floods in China: Heavy rains and floods in Shanxi Province killed at least 15 people

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Meteorological official Wang Wenyi said at a press conference on Tuesday that the province experienced the worst flooding on record this month, adding that the province’s average rainfall in October was 13 times that of the same period in normal years.

Local emergency management official Wang Qirui said at a press conference that at least 1.75 million people were affected by the flood, at least 19,500 houses collapsed, and another 18,200 houses were severely damaged. Wang Qirui added that three people are still missing.

On October 10, floods occurred near Lianbo Village, Hejin City, Shanxi Province, northern China.

According to Wang Qirui, the direct economic loss caused by heavy rains and floods in the province is estimated to exceed RMB 5 billion (USD 775 million).

According to a statement issued by the Provincial Emergency Management Bureau on Saturday, the heavy rains also forced the closure of 60 coal mines in Shanxi Province. Shanxi is China’s largest coal mining center, accounting for a quarter of the country’s coal production.

According to the state media CCTV, the provincial government has allocated 50 million yuan (approximately US$7.7 million) to support flood prevention and disaster relief efforts.

This is not the first time China has been hit by a devastating flood this year.

In July, record rainfall in central China flooded the entire neighborhood of Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province. Passengers were trapped in subway cars, killing more than 300 people.
At that time, the weather station in Zhengzhou called it a “once in a thousand years” downpour, while the Henan Provincial Water Resources Department took it a step further, saying that the rainfall recorded at some sites can only be “once in 5000 years.”
Scientists say that climate change is making extreme floods worse-and warn that the number of people facing extreme floods has increased significantly.
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