Three killed in China while trying to outrun flash flood
BEIJING – A flash flood down a mountain in north-west China killed three of seven people trying to outrun it overnight on Thursday, adding to a growing list of casualties from unusually volatile weather in a very wet summer.
The seven had scrambled to find safe ground in a hilly part of Gansu province after a storm warning, but a flash flood caught up with them after midnight, killing three of them, while two are missing, state media reported.
A day earlier, in south-west Sichuan province, seven tourists taking photographs at a beauty spot in a water conservation area were killed when a surge of water from a dam swept away their group.
The deaths are far from isolated in a summer that has brought record-breaking rain and extreme flooding as warmer temperatures fuel powerful convective weather in the Northern Hemisphere.
In another incident, a 27-year-old woman has been missing since June 30 when a flash flood swamped a campsite, killing her friend, in the south-western Guizhou province, state media reported.
Extreme weather has grown more frequent in recent years, raising new fears about the pace of climate change.
In 2021, very cold weather during an ultramarathon, also in Gansu, killed 21 people. Many runners suffered from hypothermia and wandered off in gale-force winds.
Since July, typhoons coming in from the Western Pacific have brought floods to cities from Xiamen in the south to Beijing in the north, adding to the toll of weather-related deaths.
On Wednesday, the capital’s death toll from flooding tripled to 33 after Typhoon Doksuri inundated the region with the heaviest rain to hit the city in 140 years since records began.
Beijing recorded 74.48cm of rainfall between the evening of July 29 and the morning of Aug 2 – more than what normally falls in a year. - REUTERS