Nearly 100 dead or missing from China rains: Officials

People walk through a flooded street in Beijing, on July 20, 2016.
People walk through a flooded street in Beijing, on July 20, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - Torrential rain lashing northern China in recent days has left nearly 100 people dead or missing, official figures showed.

At least 24 people in the provinces of Hebei, which surrounds Beijing, Shanxi, Henan and Shaanxi have been confirmed dead in a rainstorm that has been pounding the region since Monday (July 18), according to figures from the civil affairs ministry.

Hebei was the worst hit, with 14 dead and 72 missing, it said in a statement late Wednesday.

Around 123,000 people were evacuated in 11 cities across Hebei, and more than 7,000 houses were destroyed, it said, adding that traffic, power and communications were also disrupted.


Northern China is normally arid but flooding is not uncommon during the summer monsoon season.

In the summer of 2012 Beijing was lashed by the worst rains to hit the capital for more than 60 years and around 80 people were killed.

Heavy downpours have already wreaked havoc in southern China this year, causing floods in several major cities including Wuhan in the central province of Hubei.

Since Saturday, 24 people have died as a result of rain in seven southern and central provinces, the civil affairs ministry said Wednesday.