China floods displace nearly 2 million in Shanxi province

  11 October 2021    Read: 277
China floods displace nearly 2 million in Shanxi province

More than 1.76 million people have been affected by severe flooding in China's northern Shanxi province, according to local media.

Torrential rain last week led to houses collapsing and triggered landslides across more than 70 districts and cities in the province.

Heavy rainfall is hampering rescue efforts, officials said.

The flooding comes less than three months after extreme rains in Henan province left more than 300 dead.

In neighbouring Hebei province, a bus fell into a flooded river. State media said three people had died, and 11 of the 51 on board were missing.

In Shanxi, China's Meteorological Administration also told local media that heavy and prolonged rainfall and storms had hampered rescue efforts.

Shanxi is also home to a number of ancient monuments which are at major risk from the severe rainfall.

More than 120,000 people have been urgently transferred and resettled, and 17,000 homes have collapsed across Shanxi province, authorities told the Xinhua news agency.

Four police officers died as a result of a landslide, according to the state-run Global Times, although information about other casualties has not been released.

The Shanxi flooding may have been worse than the floods in Henan earlier this year, it added.

Shanxi's provincial capital Taiyuan saw average rainfall of around 185.6mm last week, compared with the 25mm it saw in October between 1981 and 2010.

Global Times spoke to a resident from Ji county on the Yellow River.

"This year, the level of the Yellow River is particularly high," she told the paper. "Some houses in rural areas collapsed in the flood, but people were relocated in advance."

Rescuers in Taiyuan reportedly used megaphones to tell stranded people: "Hold the children above your head, the elderly and women are given priority to go ashore. Don't panic, everyone will be rescued."

Shanxi is a major coal-producing province and the government was forced to halt operations at mines and chemical factories as a result of the rain.

China is already facing an energy shortage which has caused power cuts. The government has been limiting electricity usage at ports and factories.

The local government said it had suspended output at 60 coal mines, 372 non-coal mines and 14 dangerous chemical factories in the province.

Operations had already been stopped at 27 other coal mines on 4 October.


More about: