Five Chinese cities declare rain 'red alerts' after flood death toll hits 21
The India Today reported according to China state media, five cities in the central Chinese province of Hubei have declared "red alerts" after torrential rain left 21 people dead and forced the evacuation of nearly 6,000 people. Chinese cities
It said, the deaths were recorded in the township of Liulin, part of the city of Suizhou in the north of the province.
It confirmed, citing the Xinhua news agency that More than 2,700 houses and shops suffered flood damage and power, transportation and communications were also disrupted.
The Indian website added, rescue crews have been dispatched to the worst affected areas, including the cities of Suizhou, Xiangyang and Xiaogan, China's Ministry of Emergency Management said. The city of Yicheng also saw a record 400 millimetres of rain on Thursday.
It said according to the official China News Service, as many as 774 reservoirs in Hubei had exceeded their flood warning levels by Thursday evening.
China regularly experiences flooding during its wet summer months, but authorities have warned that extreme weather is now becoming more frequent as a result of climate change.
It should be noted that around 80,000 were evacuated in the southwestern province of Sichuan last weekend and record rainfall in Henan last month caused floods that killed more than 300 people.
The China Meteorological Administration warned that heavy rainstorms were likely to continue until next week, with regions along the Yangtze river vulnerable to flooding.
State weather forecasters also issued a geological disaster warning late on Thursday, saying areas at risk include the central provinces of Hubei, Hunan, Henan and Anhui, Chongqing, Sichuan and Guizhou in the southwest as well as Zhejiang on the eastern coast.