Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Flooding displaces 10,000 around China as Beijing gets a relative respite from sweltering heat

BEIJING (AP) – Heavy flooding has displaced thousands of people around China as the capital had a relative respite from sweltering heat.

Beijing reported 10 straight days when the temperature exceeded 35 degrees Celsius (°C), the National Climate Centre said yesterday.

Such a streak was last recorded in 1961 – decades before most Beijing residents had air conditioning or even fans.

A lack of rainfall may be contributing to the heat, with the typically dry capital receiving even less than usual this year. While temperatures have since moderated – yesterday’s temperature at midday was 33°C – they are expected to rise again this week to as high as 39.6°C in Beijing and other parts of the country, authorities said.

Meanwhile, more than 10,000 people were urgently moved to safety due to flooding in the central province of Hunan, the Xiang’xi Emergency Management Bureau said on Sunday.

Around 70 houses collapsed, 2,283 were damaged and farm fields were flooded. Losses so far have been estimated at least USD79 million. To the north in Shaanxi province’s Zhenba county, authorities reported the worst flooding in 50 years had washed out roads and damaged homes.

No deaths have been reported from the floods thus far.

The heat this year has been unusual, although China has regular summer flooding.

Eleven provinces – around half of China’s land area – were expected to received heavy rains in coming days, mainly in the humid south.

A woman helps a child to switch on an electric fan. PHOTO: AP