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Highway Collapse in Guangdong China Killing 24 People



Highway Collapse in Guangdong China
Officials confirmed 24 deaths, with 30 people injured: Image Xinhua

A stretch of a mountainside highway collapsed in China’s Guangdong province, killing 24 people, after days of heavy rain. A 17.9m (58 feet) stretch of the Meilong expressway collapsed around 02:10 local time (19:10 BST) on Wednesday, injuring thirty others.

Authorities have yet to reveal the reason of the tragedy. Images from state media Xinhua News showed a big gash in the forested mountainside beneath the highway.

According to official media, the 30 persons in the hospital are “not currently at risk”. The provincial government has deployed 500 emergency responders to the scene.

State media initially claimed 19 deaths, but local officials later confirmed 24 deaths, with 30 people injured. Flames and black smoke billowed from beneath the highway, according to footage taken shortly after the collapse.

Authorities said that 20 automobiles had fallen into the collapsing stretch of the road. Another footage shown by state media depicted a burning pile of burnt autos partially buried in mud.

Torrential rains have lashed Guangdong

Torrential rains have lashed Guangdong: Getty Images

Massive Floods Guangdong

Last week, flash floods struck Guangdong, China’s most populated province, killing four and displacing over 100,000 people.

The floodwaters reportedly destroyed scores of homes, closed schools, and prompted aircraft cancellations and delays. Authorities predict economic damages of 140.6 million yuan ($19.4 million; £15.5 million).

Over the weekend, a tornado ripped through a factory zone in Guangzhou, the province capital, killing five and injuring 33 more.

Hailstones the size of golf balls were also observed falling on the city.

Last month, more than 100,000 people were evacuated in southern China owing to torrential rain and catastrophic floods, prompting the government to issue its most severe rainfall warning.

Torrential rains have lashed Guangdong in recent days, swelling waterways and increasing fears of severe flooding, according to official media, which might be “seen around once a century.”

The megacity of Shenzhen was among the regions identified as receiving “heavy to very heavy downpours,” according to the city’s meteorological observatory, which also stated that the potential of flash floods was “high.”

Images from Qingyuan, a city in northern Guangdong that is part of the low-lying Pearl River Delta, showed a structure nearly drowned in a flooded park next to a river.

On Sunday, official media stated that over 45,000 people had been evacuated from Qingyuan, which is on a tributary to the Bei River.

Guangdong is China’s manufacturing heartland, home to over 127 million people. “Please quickly take precautions and stay away from dangerous areas such as low-lying areas prone to flooding,” Shenzhen officials stated in issuing the warning.

“Pay attention to heavy rains and resulting disasters such as flash floods, landslides, mudslides, and ground caving in.” Authorities expect heavy rain to continue in Shenzhen for the next two to three hours.

In recent years, China has experienced terrible flooding, grinding droughts, and record temperatures. As a result, authorities are often able to deploy quickly, resulting in significantly fewer casualties than in earlier decades.

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