16 dead, 18 missing in flash flood in western China

  • In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, residents clear sludge from their property in the aftermath of floods in Qingshan Township of Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County in northwest China's Qinghai Province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. A sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, killing some and leaving others missing, Chinese state media said Thursday. (Zhang Hongxiang/Xinhua via AP)

    In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, residents clear sludge from their property in the aftermath of floods in Qingshan Township of Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County in northwest China's Qinghai Province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. A sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, killing some and leaving others missing, Chinese state media said Thursday. (Zhang Hongxiang/Xinhua via AP) Associated Press

  • In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a rescue worker and dog search through the aftermath of floods in Shadai Village, Qingshan Township of Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County in northwest China's Qinghai Province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. A sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, killing some and leaving others missing, Chinese state media said Thursday. (Zhang Hongxiang/Xinhua via AP)

    In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a rescue worker and dog search through the aftermath of floods in Shadai Village, Qingshan Township of Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County in northwest China's Qinghai Province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. A sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, killing some and leaving others missing, Chinese state media said Thursday. (Zhang Hongxiang/Xinhua via AP) Associated Press

  • In this image taken from video footage run by China's CCTV, an excavator tries to clear mud from an area in the aftermath of flooding in Datong county in western China's Qinghai province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some people died and others were missing after a sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, Chinese state media said Thursday. Chinese characters on screen reads "National level 3 disaster relief activated." (CCTV via AP)

    In this image taken from video footage run by China's CCTV, an excavator tries to clear mud from an area in the aftermath of flooding in Datong county in western China's Qinghai province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some people died and others were missing after a sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, Chinese state media said Thursday. Chinese characters on screen reads "National level 3 disaster relief activated." (CCTV via AP) Associated Press

  • In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a technician of an ecological and environmental monitoring station checks water quality in Shadai Village, Qingshan Township of Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County in northwest China's Qinghai Province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. A sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, killing some and leaving others missing, Chinese state media said Thursday. (Zhang Hongxiang/Xinhua via AP)

    In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a technician of an ecological and environmental monitoring station checks water quality in Shadai Village, Qingshan Township of Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County in northwest China's Qinghai Province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. A sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, killing some and leaving others missing, Chinese state media said Thursday. (Zhang Hongxiang/Xinhua via AP) Associated Press

  • In this image taken from video footage run by China's CCTV, mud covers an area in the aftermath of flooding in Datong county in western China's Qinghai province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some people died and others were missing after a sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, Chinese state media said Thursday. Chinese characters on screen reads "National level 3 disaster relief activated." (CCTV via AP)

    In this image taken from video footage run by China's CCTV, mud covers an area in the aftermath of flooding in Datong county in western China's Qinghai province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some people died and others were missing after a sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, Chinese state media said Thursday. Chinese characters on screen reads "National level 3 disaster relief activated." (CCTV via AP) Associated Press

  • In this image taken from video footage run by China's CCTV, buffalos rest near an area washed away in the aftermath of flooding in Datong county in western China's Qinghai province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some people died and others were missing after a sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, Chinese state media said Thursday. Chinese characters on screen reads "National level 3 disaster relief activated." (CCTV via AP)

    In this image taken from video footage run by China's CCTV, buffalos rest near an area washed away in the aftermath of flooding in Datong county in western China's Qinghai province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some people died and others were missing after a sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, Chinese state media said Thursday. Chinese characters on screen reads "National level 3 disaster relief activated." (CCTV via AP) Associated Press

  • In this image taken from video footage run by China's CCTV, crops are covered by mud in the aftermath of flooding in Datong county in western China's Qinghai province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some people died and others were missing after a sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, Chinese state media said Thursday. Chinese characters on screen reads "National level 3 disaster relief activated." (CCTV via AP)

    In this image taken from video footage run by China's CCTV, crops are covered by mud in the aftermath of flooding in Datong county in western China's Qinghai province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some people died and others were missing after a sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, Chinese state media said Thursday. Chinese characters on screen reads "National level 3 disaster relief activated." (CCTV via AP) Associated Press

  • Men wearing face masks ride on a scooter under an upturned umbrella in the rain in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some were killed with others missing after a flash flood in western China Thursday, as China faces both summer rains and severe heat and drought in different parts of the country.

    Men wearing face masks ride on a scooter under an upturned umbrella in the rain in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some were killed with others missing after a flash flood in western China Thursday, as China faces both summer rains and severe heat and drought in different parts of the country. Associated Press

  • A man wearing a face mask and goggles waits at an intersection in the rain in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some were killed with others missing after a flash flood in western China Thursday, as China faces both summer rains and severe heat and drought in different parts of the country.

    A man wearing a face mask and goggles waits at an intersection in the rain in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some were killed with others missing after a flash flood in western China Thursday, as China faces both summer rains and severe heat and drought in different parts of the country. Associated Press

  • A woman wearing mask walks past construction warning sign during a rainy day in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some were killed with others missing after a flash flood in western China Thursday, as China faces both summer rains and severe heat and drought in different parts of the country.

    A woman wearing mask walks past construction warning sign during a rainy day in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some were killed with others missing after a flash flood in western China Thursday, as China faces both summer rains and severe heat and drought in different parts of the country. Associated Press

  • A delivery man checks his phone during a rainy day in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some were killed with others missing after a flash flood in western China Thursday, as China faces both summer rains and severe heat and drought in different parts of the country.

    A delivery man checks his phone during a rainy day in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some were killed with others missing after a flash flood in western China Thursday, as China faces both summer rains and severe heat and drought in different parts of the country. Associated Press

  • Residents walk with umbrellas near a puddle during a rainy day in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some were killed with others missing after a flash flood in western China Thursday, as China faces both summer rains and severe heat and drought in different parts of the country.

    Residents walk with umbrellas near a puddle during a rainy day in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some were killed with others missing after a flash flood in western China Thursday, as China faces both summer rains and severe heat and drought in different parts of the country. Associated Press

  • Office workers walk with umbrellas during a rainy day in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some were killed with others missing after a flash flood in western China Thursday, as China faces both summer rains and severe heat and drought in different parts of the country.

    Office workers walk with umbrellas during a rainy day in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Some were killed with others missing after a flash flood in western China Thursday, as China faces both summer rains and severe heat and drought in different parts of the country. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 8/18/2022 8:58 AM

BEIJING -- A sudden rainstorm in western China triggered a landslide that diverted a river and caused flash flooding in populated areas, killing at least 16 people and leaving 18 others missing, Chinese state media said Thursday.

Rescuers, who earlier reported 36 people missing, had found 18 of them by early afternoon, state broadcaster CCTV said in an online update. The Wednesday night disaster affected more than 6,000 people in six villages in Qinghai province, CCTV said.

 

China is facing both heavy rains and flooding in some parts of the country this summer and extreme heat and drought in other regions. State media have described the prolonged heat and drought as the worst since record keeping started 60 years ago.

Emergency authorities described the flash flooding in Qinghai's Datong county as a 'œmountain torrent." Such torrents generally result from heavy squalls in mountainous areas. Water running down the mountain can turn gullies or streams into raging rivers, catching people by surprise.

Video posted by the Beijing News website showed muddy water rushing down a wide street at night and debris-strewn areas with uprooted trees, partially washed-away roads and overturned cars after the waters had receded.

Seven people died last weekend from a mountain torrent in southwestern China's Sichuan province.

Elsewhere in Sichuan and other provinces, crops are wilting and factories have been shut down as a drought cut hydropower supplies and high temperatures raised demand for electricity to run air conditioners.

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Tesla Ltd. and SAIC, one of China's biggest state-owned automakers, suspended production at factories in Shanghai due to a lack of components from 16 suppliers in Sichuan that shut down, the Shanghai Economic and Information Industry Committee said in a letter released Thursday.

The Shanghai committee appealed to its counterpart in Sichuan to make sure auto components factories have adequate power during daytime working hours to avoid supply disruptions.

Authorities in three provinces shot rockets into the sky in recent days to 'œseed' clouds with agents to try to induce them to produce more rain, according to Chinese media and government reports.

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