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Death toll from central China floods rises to five

BEIJING (AFP) – The death toll from mountain floods in central China has risen to five, state media reported yesterday, as the country braces through a summer of extreme weather.

Record rainfall struck hilly Hunan province on Saturday, leading to “severe waterlogging” and sudden deluges, according to state news agency Xinhua.

Citing “relevant authorities”, state broadcaster CCTV said yesterday that a person missing after inundations in Yuanling county had been found dead, bringing the number of fatalities to five. The toll had stood at four as of Monday afternoon.

China has been enduring extreme weather conditions in recent months, from torrential rainfall to searing heat waves.

The country is the leading emitter of greenhouse gases, which scientists said drive climate change and make extreme weather events more frequent and intense.

Persistent downpours are forecast across a swath of central, eastern and southern China until tomorrow, according to the weather office.

An extreme heat alert was in place in the capital Beijing yesterday, with temperatures forecast to exceed 35 degrees Celsius.

A man rides a scooter as cars drive through a flooded street following heavy rains in Changsha, in central China’s Hunan province. PHOTO: AFP