Heavy rain in Sichuan forces evacuation of 80,000 people
More than 80,000 people have been evacuated because of heavy rains and floods in southwest China's Sichuan Province, state media reported on Monday.
Water levels at major rivers in the province were above warning levels following heavy rainfall from Friday to Sunday. One reservoir in the city of Dazhou exceeded its flood limit by 2.2 meters, according to China News Service.
It said more than 440,000 people have now been affected by floods in six cities across Sichuan.
State broadcaster CCTV said on Saturday that heavy rain had already caused 250 million yuan (US$38.57 million) in economic losses in Sichuan, with 45 houses destroyed and 118 damaged.
China is routinely hit by heavy rainfall during the summer, but experts have warned it must now improve the resilience of its cities as extreme weather becomes more frequent.
Chinese weather officials told reporters last week that rising temperatures had increased the likelihood of heavy rainfall across the globe, and the impact in China was likely to get worse in future.
"Extreme events such as high temperatures and heavy rainfall have increased and the level of climate risk in China is on the rise," said Chao Qingchen, vice director of the National Climate Center, a state think tank.
Last month, central Henan Province suffered its worst rainstorms in recorded history, with floods killing more than 300 people.