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The flood caused an estimated $250 million in damage. (representative)

Beijing:

Flash floods have killed 16 people and left dozens missing in northwest China after flash rains caused a landslide to divert a river, state media reported on Thursday.

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The floods occurred in a mountainous area of ​​Datong County in Qinghai Province, affecting more than 6,200 people in six villages, state broadcaster CCTV said.

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“As of noon on the 18th, 16 people have been killed and 36 are missing,” the CCTV said, adding that rescue operations were ongoing.

The deluge comes at a time of extreme summer weather in China, with multiple cities experiencing their hottest days on record.

A video feed of the aftermath released by state media showed mud-covered roads, uprooted trees, damaged homes and rescue workers carrying shovels.

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A “frontline headquarters” has been set up to organize the emergency response, state media reports said.

“Rescue operations are progressing in an orderly manner,” the report said, adding that sudden heavy rains triggered the situation on Wednesday night.

extreme weather

Scientists say climate change has made extreme weather more frequent around the world and could become more severe as temperatures rise.

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Severe flooding in southern China in June displaced more than half a million people and caused an estimated $250 million in damage.

On Wednesday, Chinese authorities warned that heavy rains were likely in the northern parts of the country, including the capital Beijing and its neighbors Tianjin and Hebei.

Earlier this week, President Xi Jinping urged officials in northeastern Liaoning province to “control floods to ensure the safety of people’s lives,” state media reported.

Meanwhile, millions of people in southwestern China are facing rolling power cuts due to a power supply crisis caused by a crushing heat wave that has forced factories to shut down.

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Sichuan province relies heavily on dams for its electricity generation but the heat has dried up reservoirs, exacerbating energy shortages.

State news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday, citing provincial energy officials, that the lack of rain has reduced water levels in Sichuan’s major rivers by between 20 and 50 percent, severely hitting hydropower generation.

The China Meteorological Administration said the country is experiencing its longest period of prolonged high temperatures since records began in 1961, with 64 consecutive days of heat warnings in various regions starting in June.

More than a third of weather stations in China have recorded extreme heat this summer, with 262 of them reaching or exceeding previous records, the administration said.

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(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and appeared on a syndicated feed.)

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