Flood triggered by heavy rainfall in China’s top coal-producing areas of Shanxi province has killed at least 15 people with three others missing.
The state media reported on Tuesday that at least 1.75 million people have been affected by the floods while as many as 120,000 people have been displaced after 19,500 houses were rendered inhabitable. Whereas the initial direct economic loss is estimated at at least $770m with an estimated 190,000 hectares (470,000 acres) of crops’ demolition.
The report did not mention the worst-affected area of Shanxi which is located west of Beijing and covers some 156,000sq km (60,000sq miles).
The news agency’s report said the emergency flood response was already being sent, adding that the situation has stabilized with water levels of small and medium-sized rivers falling below the warning mark.
Earlier the country’s central Henan province in July was deluged that killed more than 300 people which also raised fears about ensuring the supply of energy ahead of the winter.
The provincial government said that many parts of Shanxi, a landlocked province that generally has dry weather, saw record-breaking rainfall over the past week adding that the authorities ordered coal mines to take flood-proofing measures and made emergency plans to be “activated immediately in case of grave danger”.
At least 60 coal mines have derailed mining due to the floods in the midst of a power supply crunch. Beijing recently ordered coal mines to do every possible measure to increase production and ensure supply in the province has suspended operations due to the floods.
Beijing recently ordered coal mines to spare no cost to increase production and ensure supply and said it will allow higher electricity prices in a bid to boost generation.
China has been hit by widespread power cuts amid record coal prices, state electricity price controls, and tough emissions targets that have squeezed the power supply.
A media channel earlier reported that Shanxi received more than three times the average monthly rainfall for October in just five days last week.
The Provincial Meteorological Bureau reported that the average rain in the province reached 119.5mm (4.7 inches) between October 2 and 7, according to the provincial meteorological bureau.
Video footage published by the Shanxi Evening News showed rescuers wading through muddy waters and floating on rafts down flooded urban streets.