Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

15 people have died after flooding in China’s coal region caused by three months’ worth of rain in a week

October 14, 2021

Flooding struck the coal-rich region during a nationwide energy shortage, but most of the 60 coal mines that were briefly closed have reopened

At least 15 people died in north China’s Shanxi province earlier this month as a result of exceptionally severe rain and flooding, according to local officials, after the normally dry region received three months’ worth of rain in a week. The flooding struck the coal-rich landlocked region during a statewide energy shortage, and just after catastrophic floods in northern Henan province killed more than 300 people in July.

At least 60 coal mines in the province, which is one of China’s top coal-producing regions, were forced to close temporarily due to the floods, but all but four have since reopened, according to local emergency management official Wang Qirui. According to Wang, the extreme weather destroyed roughly 19,000 buildings, while another 18,000 were “seriously damaged.”

He continued, “Fifteen individuals died as a result of the accident, and three people are still missing.” According to Wang, the floods have affected at least 1.75 million people across the province, with 120,000 safely evacuated. Local state daily Shanxi Evening News published photos yesterday of traffic cops carrying youngsters on their backs while wading through waist-deep water after many vehicles became stuck. In just five days last week, Shanxi got more than three times the average monthly rainfall for October, according to the provincial administration, with precipitation breaking records in many locations. This year, China has been plagued by catastrophic flooding in several locations.

Authorities reported Tuesday that heavy rains across the Philippines inundated villages and prompted landslides, killing at least nine people and leaving 11 others missing. On Monday, as it rushed across the archipelago nation into the South China Sea, severe Tropical Storm Kompasu flooded swaths of Luzon’s most populous island. According to the national disaster service, four people were killed in landslides in the landlocked mountainous province of Benguet, and one person drowned in the coastal province of Cagayan.