China: 16 dead and 36 missing in floods

BEIJING (AP) — Sixteen people were killed and 18 were missing in flash flooding in China’s western Qinghai province, state media said Thursday.

A flash storm Wednesday night triggered a landslide that diverted a river, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

The rescuers, who initially reported 36 missing, had located 18 of them by early afternoon, according to a report by the state network on the Internet. The disaster affected more than 6,000 people in six towns in Qinghai province, the report added.

China is experiencing this summer both heavy rains and floods in some parts of the country and extreme heat and drought in other regions. It is the worst drought since records began 60 years ago, according to state media.

Emergency officials described the flash flood in Qinghaui’s Datong county as a “mountain torrent” disaster. These torrents usually produce strong alluviums in mountain areas. Water rushing down the slope can turn ravines into mighty rivers and take people by surprise.

Seven people were killed last weekend by a mountain torrent in southwest China’s Sichuan province.

Elsewhere in Sichuan and other provinces, crops are withering and factories are closing as drought has affected water supplies at hydroelectric facilities and high temperatures boost energy demand.


EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this dispatch was corrected to indicate that 36 were originally missing, not injured.

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