Flash floods kill 16 in northwest China

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Sixteen people have been killed and dozens are missing in flash flooding in northwest China after a sudden downpour triggered mudslides and caused a river to change course, state media reported Thursday.

The floods occurred in a mountainous region of Datong county in Qinghai province, affecting more than 6,200 people from six villages, state broadcaster CCTV said.

“As of noon on the 18th, 16 people have been killed and 36 are missing,” added CCTV, saying that rescue work is ongoing.

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The deluge comes during a summer of extreme weather in China, with multiple cities recording their hottest days.

A “frontline headquarters” has been set up to organize the emergency response, according to the state media report.

Sudden heavy rainfall Wednesday night had triggered the situation, it said.

Scientists say extreme weather across the world has become more frequent due to climate change, and will likely grow more intense as temperatures rise.

Severe flooding in southern China in June displaced more than half a million people and caused an estimated $250 million in damage.

Meanwhile, millions of people in southwest China are facing rolling power cuts as a crushing heatwave led to an electricity supply crunch that has forced factories to halt work.

The China Meteorological Administration said the country was going through its longest period of sustained high temperatures since records began in 1961, with 64 days straight of heat warnings in various regions starting in June.

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