China: 7 people die in torrent swollen by rains

China: 7 people die in torrent swollen by rains

Seven people were killed in a torrent of water that swept down a river at a popular entertainment spot after rains hit mountainous areas in southwestern China, authorities said on Sunday.

Workers and volunteers mobilized to urge people to evacuate after receiving a warning of impending downpours at around 2:40 p.m. on Saturday, the emergency service in Pengzhou city said.

Videos shared on social media showed people running to flee, but some were swept away by the torrent some 50 minutes later, at 3:30 p.m.

A man at the scene said several people, including some children, had been swept away when the flow of water in the lower reaches of the river suddenly surged in just 10 to 20 seconds, according to state-run China National Radio.

The Chengdu city government reported seven dead and three hospitalized with minor injuries on Sunday. Pengzhou is a tourist destination about 70 kilometers (45 miles) north of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.

One video showed a person stranded on a small promontory being rescued in a helicopter that lowered so far above the water that the person was able to climb to the gate.

Elsewhere in China, heavy rains flooded streets in the northwestern city of Xining on Saturday. Heavy to torrential rain was expected in the northeast from Sunday to Monday afternoon, with 10 to 18 centimeters (4 to 7 inches) of rain expected in parts of Liaoning and Jilin provinces.

A heat wave was hitting much of southern China, with highs on Sunday expected to range from 95 to 102 Fahrenheit (35 to 39 degrees Celsius) and possibly topping 104 Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) in places like Shanghai.

Jiangsu province has warned that road surface temperatures could reach 72 degrees (162 Fahrenheit), increasing the risk of flat tires, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Melissa Galbraith
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