At Least 12 Dead After Floods in China

Rescue workers saving residents from flooding in China

At least twelve people have been killed by flash floods in south-west and north-west China, with thousands evacuated to avoid further casualties.

Chinese state media reports that at least six people have died and another 12 are missing after floods in the south-western province of Sichuan, whilst a further six people are reported to have died in Longnan city in the north-western province of Gansu.

Over 4,000 people have been evacuated from both regions

The disasters were caused by torrential rainfall, with the worst-affected areas receiving double the average rainfall for July in just one and a half days. Experts say that such extreme weather events are becoming more common due to climate change, with warmer air leading to less frequent but more significant rainfall.

The floods are the latest extreme weather event to hit China, which just last week saw a heatwave in parts of the country with temperatures soaring to 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 Fahreheit). Further heatwaves are expected next week and will last through to late August according to meteorologists.

State weather forecasters have warned households in the south of the country to brace for an extended period of heat lasting up to 40 days, with temperatures once more as high as 42C.