Members of the Chinese People's Armed Police Force evacuate flood-trapped residents in Wanzhou District, southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, 04 July 2023. EFE-EPA/XINHUA/Li Yuyang CHINA OUT/UK AND IRELAND OUT/MANDATORY CREDIT EDITORIAL USE ONLY

At least 15 killed by torrential rains in southwest China

Beijing, July 5 (EFE).- At least 15 people were killed and another 4 are missing due to torrential rains in southwest China’s Chongqing city over the past two days, state-run news agency Xinhua reported Wednesday.

The Fengjie, Yunyang and Xiushan districts have been the worst hit by rains in the mountainous city of Chongqing, which has an area similar to that of the UAE and the Czech Republic.

The water levels of 11 rivers in the city have gone beyond the danger mark.

Over 460,000 people in Chongqing and the neighboring province of Sichuan have been affected by the floods, out of which 85,000 were evacuated to safe places as a precautionary measure, according to the latest information.

On Tuesday, the authorities issued an orange alert for geological disasters triggered by rain in the area, in addition to activating a level 4 – the lowest level in a four-tier system – emergency response.

China has a four-tier color-coded weather warning system for geological disasters, with red being the most severe level, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

Torrential floods have already left dozens dead and more than 1 million homeless since the start of summer in provinces such as Hunan, Sichuan, Jiangxi and Inner Mongolia.

Floods are a common phenomenon in China during the rainy season, which usually begins in June and lasts until August or September.

In 2021, flooding caused more than 300 deaths and missing people in China, especially in the central Henan province, where unprecedented rainfall caused the Yellow River to overflow, affecting more than 13 million people.

Natural disasters in August 2022 left some 41.8 million people homeless and a total of 94 dead or missing in the Asian giant, where torrential rains, floods, landslides and typhoons caused $10 billion worth of damage. EFE

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