Western China flood death toll hits 23

Beijing, Aug 20 (EFE).- The death toll from a flash flood in the western Chinese province of Qinghai rose to 23, state news agency Xinhua reported Saturday.

Eight people remain missing and 23 others classified as missing have been found, the agency reported.

The initial figure offered by the regional government was of four dead and 27 missing, while this last count dates from 8:00 p.m. local time Friday (12:00 GMT), after search and rescue tasks on the ground.

The torrential rain began at about 10:25 p.m. local time (2:25 p.m. GMT) Wednesday in a mountainous area of ​​Datong County, located in the northern part of Xining Municipality, the capital of Qinghai.

Shortly after 07:00 local time Thursday (23:00 GMT on Wednesday), authorities declared a Level 2 emergency, the second highest of the four into which China’s flood warning system is divided.

More than 6,000 people have been affected by the disaster and 1,500 residents have been transferred to local schools, which act as temporary shelter.

Since the beginning of the summer, torrential floods have left dozens dead and more than a million homeless in provinces such as Hunan, Sichuan and Gansu.

Last summer, floods in the central province of Henan, caused by rainfall of an intensity not seen in decades, submerged entire neighborhoods and subway stations and caused more than 300 deaths.

“We cannot say that an extreme weather event is directly caused by climate change, but in the long term, global warming causes an increase in the intensity and frequency of such events,” Song Lianchun, a meteorologist at the National Meteorological Center, said. EFE


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