Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Brunei Town

Nine missing in China landslide sparked by heavy rains amid flooding and searing temperatures

BEIJING (AP) – Nine people are missing in central China after a landslide sparked by heavy rains amid flooding and searing temperatures across much of the country, authorities said yesterday.

Five people were rescued from under the rubble at a highway construction site in the central province of Hubei, where the accident occurred on Saturday.

Crews were still excavating in hopes of finding more survivors.

Tens of thousands of people have been moved to shelters amid heavy flooding in northern, central and southeastern China. Seasonal flooding is a regular occurrence in China, but this year’s rising waters have been accompanied by unusually prolonged stretches of high temperatures.

With its more than nine million square kilometers of land area, China is being hit simultaneously this summer by heatwaves, flooding and drought.

Cities have opened their air raid shelters to offer residents relief from the heat.

Earlier this week, Beijing reported more than nine straight days with temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius (°C), a streak unseen since 1961.

Authorities have issued health alerts and, in the capital and elsewhere, suspended outdoor work, although many workers continued to deliver packages, lay bricks and haul goods.

So far, two deaths in Beijing have been attributed to the scorching heat. Health authorities said a tour guide collapsed and died of heat stroke yesterday while giving a tour of the Summer Palace – a vast, 18th Century imperial garden.

Chinese cities such as Chongqing, a southwestern metropolis known for its torrid summers, have for years used their air raid tunnels as public cooling centres.

The shelters are now often equipped with seating areas and offer access to water, refreshments and heat stroke medicine.

A woman visits the Forbidden City during a sweltering day in Beijing, China. PHOTO: AP