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At least 10 people have been killed and a village has been partially buried in two separate Chinese cities as record-breaking levels of rainfall pummelled the country.

Key points:

  • The mountainous province of Hunan has suffered week-long heavy flooding
  • Approximately 1.8 million people have been affected, including 10 deaths and more than 200,000 evacuated
  • A province 9 hours away has suffered similar rainfall, with a landslide burying parts of a village

Around 1.8 million people have been affected by flooding in the central Chinese province of Hunan — including those who lost their lives, three missing and 286,000 evacuated to safety — since the beginning of June.

More than 2,700 houses have also been damaged or collapsed entirely as the largely rural mountainous province continued to record historic levels of rainfall at monitoring stations, the Xinhua News Agency said on Wednesday.

In the southern Guangxi region, a landslide buried part of a village.

State media reported that rescue crews on Thursday were still looking for survivors in Xinfeng township, where days of rain left hillsides waterlogged and prone to slippages.

Authorities issued warnings for continued heavy downpours in Guangxi and the nearby provinces of Jiangxi, Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan, Sichuan, Chongqing and Yunnan.

A country no stranger to fatal flooding

An aerial view of a stadium filled with water.

 

Stadium becomes a “giant bathtub” in Ezhou, Hubei Province.(Reuters: China Stringer Network)

China regularly experiences flooding during the summer months, most frequently in the central and southern areas that tend to receive the most rainfall.

China’s worst floods in recent years were in 1998, when more than 2,000 people died and almost 3 million homes were destroyed, mostly along the Yangtze, China’s mightiest river.

Last year, 300 people lost their lives after record downpours dumped a year’s worth of rain on Zhengzhou in central China in just three days.

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In 2021, record rainfall in Zhengzhou left at least 300 dead.

Last year, at least 25 people died in Henan, including a dozen in a subway that was drenched by what weather officials called the heaviest rains for 1,000 years.

To try and control the country’s repeated flooding, the government has invested in flood control and hydro-electric projects such as the gargantuan Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze.

Globally, more intense tropical storms are on the rise as a result of climate change, leading to increased flooding that threatens human lives, crops and groundwater quality.

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