Highway collapse kills 24 in southern China

(Beijing) At least 24 people died when part of a highway in China collapsed due to heavy rains on Wednesday in the southern province of Guangdong, state media said.

Heavy rains have hit the industrial region of Guangdong in recent weeks, causing severe flooding and landslides. In recent days, the torrential rains have been much heavier than normal for this time of year just before the monsoon season.

Twenty vehicles were “trapped” by the collapse of a section of road, which occurred shortly after 2 a.m. (2 p.m. Eastern time, Tuesday), involving 54 people in total, the agency announced. New China State.

At least “24 people were confirmed to have died and 30” were hospitalized, said New China in a report established in the middle of the afternoon.

The lives of those hospitalized are not in danger, the agency added, without specifying the seriousness of their injuries.

An aerial photograph published by state television CCTV showed wrecked vehicles lying in a deep muddy ditch.

Dozens of emergency vehicles and cranes gathered along the highway, a nearly 18-meter stretch of which CCTV showed collapsed between Meizhou city and Dabu county in the densely populated province. populated.

Other footage, apparently filmed before dawn, shows flames emanating from the ditch.

We hear a man warning: “We can’t go any further” and adding that parts of the road had given way.

AFP was not immediately able to verify these videos.

Around 500 people were dispatched to the site to help with the rescue efforts. They belong to the services responsible for public safety, emergency response, firefighting and mine rescue, according to the television channel.

Local authorities said in a notice that part of the S12 motorway was closed in both directions and ordered vehicles to take diversions.

“Natural geological disaster”

CCTV said the collapse was a “natural geological disaster” that occurred “under the impact of persistent heavy rain”.

In southern mainland China, Guangdong province was recently hit by a series of violent weather events, from deadly floods to a tornado, which killed five people in the city of Guangzhou last week.

After several days of precipitation, downpours fell again during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday.

In Hong Kong, some 150 km south of Guangzhou, nearly 10,000 lightning strikes were recorded in one night, according to the city’s meteorological observatory.

This counted 5,914 lightning strikes in one hour on Tuesday evening and 9,437 in one night (from Tuesday 9 p.m. to Wednesday 11 a.m. local).

“Intensifying climate change increases the likelihood of heavy rains that typically only appear during the summer months,” Yin Zhijie, head of hydrological forecasting at China’s Ministry of Water Resources, told Reuters last month. Chinese national radio.

China is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change, but has pledged to reduce its emissions to zero by 2060.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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