4 missing in China's Xinjiang after flash floods, mudslides

BEIJING — Flash floods in China’s Changji on Tuesday (June 18) engulfed a car, and four people are missing, Chinese state media reported, as heavy rains and mudslides in several parts of the country cause widespread destruction and trigger mass evacuations.

Emergency officials in the mountainous area of Changji, in northwestern Xinjiang region, said heavy rainfall in Miaoergou township caused flash floods and mudslides to block roads, according to CCTV news.

Rescue forces rushed to the scene and found a car, but four people were missing, the report said. A search and rescue is underway.

For several days, heavy rain has inundated Jiangxi and Guizhou provinces, the coastal provinces of Guangdong and Fujian, and Guangxi region. Torrential rain and landslides have killed nine people and left 17 missing, state media and local authorities said.

Fatalities during China’s annual flooding season in the summer have sharply fallen from the thousands each year in the 1990s due to improvements in the flood control infrastructure, including the building of dams.

On Tuesday, Guangxi officials upgraded a flood warning advisory, according to CCTV news, saying about 23,600 people were affected in 10 counties and there were about 10.22 million yuan (S$1.9 million) in direct economic losses from damaged homes and lost crops due to the rains.

Flash flood warnings were also issued in Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces, where heavy rain fell in many places for two straight days, state media said.

Weather forecasters expect more heavy rain in Guangxi region, and provinces of Jiangxi, Fujian, Zhejiang, and Anhui, which could lead to more mud and landslides and flooding.

Water levels at many rivers have exceeded warning levels, according to state media and local officials.

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