Floods in northeast China kill 25: Xinhua


People wade through a flooded street near the overflowing Songhua River in Harbin, Heilongjiang province August 16, 2013. Floods that have affected northeast China's Heilongjiang province since August 10, were the most severe to hit the area in decades. Photo - Reuters

Twenty-five people have been killed by floods which hit northeastern China over the past week, state media said Saturday, as other parts of the country continued to experience a heatwave.

The biggest floods recorded in decades in China's northeast region, which borders Russia, began last week, submerging buildings and forcing people from their homes, China's official Xinhua news agency said.

Floods caused by heavy rain in the provinces of Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Jilin have led to the relocation of 140,000 people, and economic losses of 7.1 billion yuan ($1.2 billion), Xinhua said.

Pictures posted online showed brick farmhouses surrounded by water, and a small bridge which had been swept away by swollen river.

Residents of Shenyang, in Liaoning province, were shown wading through waist-deep water to reach their cars, while one man negotiated the waters in a rubber dinghy.

Meanwhile, much of the rest of China has continued to experience a heatwave which saw temperatures in China's commercial hub Shanghai reach their highest levels in at least 140 years earlier this month.

The central Chinese city of Zhengzhou -- not known for its hot weather -- saw temperatures of over 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) this week, the Henan Business Daily reported on Saturday.

Temperatures in China have grown more extreme over the past four decades, according to a paper published in US-based journal Geophysical Research Letters earlier this year.

The paper said that human influence from sources including greenhouse gas emissions "is clearly detectable in extreme temperatures over China" after examining data from 2,400 weather stations in China.

At least three people were killed this week when a typhoon battered south China with strong winds and torrential rain, state media said.

Many parts of China are prone to seasonal flooding, as heavy summer rains flood rivers.

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