China: Flash floods leave 12 dead, thousands evacuated
At least 12 people were killed while thousands have been evacuated to safe places after flash floods hit southwest and northwest China, as per state media. Many people are reported missing following torrential rains that triggered flash floods in many parts of the country, CCTV reported. The rescue operation is still underway to locate the missing persons and evacuate those trapped.
According to officials, six people died in Sichuan province alone, while another 12 are missing as a result of flash floods caused by excessive rain. As of Saturday, 1,300 people had been evacuated throughout the province, officials told CGTN. Meanwhile, another six deaths have been reported in Longnan city in the northwestern province of Gansu, and 3,000 people have been evacuated, according to CCTV.
According to Chinese media, rainfall in the worst-affected areas reached 98.9 millimeters (3.9 inches) in less than two days. It's nearly double the rain normally recorded in July. The country has been experiencing a heat wave, with temperatures last week reaching as high as 42 degrees Celsius (107 degrees Fahrenheit) in Shanghai and the eastern Zhejiang province.
As per experts, climate change has contributed to extreme weather events across China. They said bigger cloudbursts occur as warmer air can store more water and when it's released it led to flash floods. Meanwhile, the flooding had added to economic woes in the country. Earlier, the people were already fighting the economic crisis brought by stringent COVID-19 measures restricting travel and supply chains.
Like China, some other countries are also facing severe weather. In Portugal, Spain, France, Greece, and Morocco Forest fires rage across tens of thousands of hectares due to the heatwave. This week's heatwave continues to deliver high temperatures and hundreds of deaths throughout southern Europe. The wildfires in Portugal and Spain have also forced thousands of people to flee their homes.
The weather department has also issued the first-ever red alert for extreme heat in the United Kingdom. The temperatures are anticipated to reach 41 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit) over the next two days, shattering the country's heat records. Drought-related low water levels in the Rhine, Germany have impacted the country's commodity supply chain. In the US, heatwaves have impacted the southern parts badly.