Heavy rains expected to pummel central, eastern areas

Heavy rains are expected to batter broad sections of China in the coming days, authorities warned, after a landslide triggered by downpours claimed eight lives in central Hunan province.

Continuous heavy rain is forecast until Thursday in several provinces across central, eastern and southern regions of the country, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said.

The NMC forecast was accompanied by a red alert – its highest-level warning – that “extremely heavy rains” could occur in parts of Anhui, Jiangxi and Zhejiang until 2pm local time today.

Such areas could see 250-270mm of rainfall, the NMC said.

Following days of persistent rain in Huangshan, a popular tourist city in eastern Anhui province, more than 54,000 people had been evacuated by mid-afternoon on Sunday, state news agency Xinhua reported.

The current round of downpours in the area began on June 18, Xinhua said, adding that dozens of attractions had been closed.

China has been experiencing extreme weather conditions and unusually high temperatures in recent months.

Climate change driven by human-emitted greenhouse gases makes extreme weather events more frequent and intense.

Downpours last week in southern and densely populated Guangdong province sparked flooding and landslides, with at least 38 people killed, state media said Friday.

On Sunday, heavy rain in mountainous Hunan province led to the deaths of eight people after an early morning landslide caused four houses to collapse in a village, state media reported. — AFP

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