Beijing, July 4 (IANS) At least 42 people were killed and 21 others reported missing due to torrential rains in southern China, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Tuesday.
Heavy rains have triggered flooding and caused water in more than 60 rivers in the region to rise above the maximum level, with Hunan and Guangxi Zhuang the most affected areas, the ministry said.
Thousands of soldiers, police, civil servants and civilians are fighting the floods in several provinces along the Yangtze River, reports Efe news.
The water level at the monitoring station in Hunan’s capital Changsha on the Xiangjiang River, a major tributary of the Yangtze, reached a record high of 39.51 metres, surpassing the previous record of 39.18 metres set by a massive flood in 1998.
Flooding has destroyed homes, uprooted trees, and damaged vehicles, roads and crops, while thousands of people have been evacuated.
In Hubei, around 16,000 people are on high alert for floodwaters, while in Guangxi 16 people were confirmed dead and 10 are currently missing due to flooding.
Meanwhile, in the north of the country areas such as Beijing, Shaanxi, Hebei and Henan are seeing temperatures rising up to 40 degrees Celsius.
In Inner Mongolia, more than 200 firefighters are battling a fire that has crossed into northern China from Mongolia.