Bad weather in Asia leaves over 100 dead

Lightning strikes, storms, landslides and floods wreak havoc in India, China and Japan

A flooded town in China's Jiangxi province after a river dyke broke on Tuesday.
A flooded town in China's Jiangxi province after a river dyke broke on Tuesday.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

NEW DELHI • Bad weather has hit several countries in Asia, leaving scores dead in lightning strikes, floods and landslides.

In India, at least 93 people have been killed by lightning over the past two days, disaster management officials said yesterday as annual monsoon rains swept the country.

In China, heavy rains have left 42 people dead and 25 missing in 10 provincial-level regions, including Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hubei and Sichuan, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA).

In Japan, the death toll from landslides and floods in an earthquake-battered region of southern Japan has risen to six as two more bodies were recovered, an official said yesterday, with all missing now accounted for.

An overnight storm in the eastern state of Bihar in India killed at least 56 people and injured 28, mostly in rural areas.

Another 37 people were killed across Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh states, according to figures compiled by local disaster management authorities.

Lightning strikes are relatively common in India during the June-October monsoon, which hit the southern coast earlier this month. But this week's toll is particularly high.

Meanwhile, more than 460,000 people were relocated and 321,000 were in urgent need of emergency relief in China after continuous rainfall in the southern part of the country since last Saturday. About 6,800 houses collapsed and many crops were destroyed, leading to an economic loss of 9.67 billion yuan (S$2 billion), the MCA said.

The National Meteorological Centre yesterday issued a blue warning - the lowest alert level - for storms valid till today in some areas of north-east, east and north-west China. But it has also issued a yellow alert - the third-highest alert - for high temperatures in north, central and south-east China, urging people to reduce outdoor activity.

In Japan, local residents reported swollen rivers flooding streets and houses with knee-high water, while others said they heard roaring noises in areas hit by night-time landslides. More rain was expected, with the Japan Meteorological Agency yesterday maintaining warnings of heavy-rain-induced landslides, thunderstorms and floods on Kyushu island.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2016, with the headline 'Bad weather in Asia leaves over 100 dead'. Subscribe