Floods and landslides kill nine in China’s south as drought hits north

At least nine people have died and 15 are missing after torrential rainfall sparked landslides and flash floods in southern China.

The country is battling polarising weather events with severe rainfall lashing southern provinces since Saturday and a severe heatwave causing a drought in the north.

In northwestern Xinjiang region, four people are reported missing after heavy rain caused flash floods, engulfing cars and causing widespread destruction.

Four people have died and two are missing after landslides in Wuping county in the coastal province of Fujian.

Severe downpours started on Sunday afternoon and brought 372.4 millimetres of rainfall over a 24-hour period.

Aerial drone image shows landslide in an area affected by torrential rains in Tieshan Township of Zhenghe County (AP)
Aerial drone image shows landslide in an area affected by torrential rains in Tieshan Township of Zhenghe County (AP)

More than 35,000 people have been evacuated in Fujian and over 10,000 in Meizhou, a city in Guangdong province hit hardest by the floods.

Some 130,000 households in Meizhou have experienced power outages and "authorities are still trying to reach some towns and villages” around the city, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

At least three helicopters and over 200 rescue teams are searching for survivors and delivering aid to the affected areas, local authorities said.

A flooded area in Dongping Township of Zhenghe County in southeastern China's Fujian (AP)
A flooded area in Dongping Township of Zhenghe County in southeastern China's Fujian (AP)

The water resources ministry said on Monday that at least 17 waterways in the Han River basin have “recorded flooding above alert level".

In Chongqing, torrential rains have caused water levels of five rivers to rise by one to three metres.

In Guangxi, authorities said on Tuesday that about 23,600 people have been affected in 10 counties and estimated direct economic losses from damaged homes and lost crops at around 10.2m yuan (£1.1m).

Total losses from the rains and the floods so far amount to 415m yuan (£45.10m), state media reported.

Flash flood warnings have been issued in Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces, where heavy rain fell in many places for two straight days.

In the mountainous area of Changji, Xinjiang, emergency said flash floods and landslides caused by heavy rainfall in Miaoergou township blocked roads. Rescue workers found a car near the landslide but four are missing, the report said.

Floods and landslides last month left several people dead and missing in 17 provinces across China.