By Aarja Mody
Heavy rain and floods in China’s northern province of Shanxi killed at least 15 people, damaging thousands of homes and forced more than 120,000 people to evacuate to safer areas, according to local officials.
They experienced the worst flood in recorded history. Adding the province’s average rainfall in October was 13 times that of the same period in a normal year.
According to Wang Qirui, the province has suffered a direct economic loss of more than 5 billion Chinese yuan ($775 million) as a result of the severe rains and floods.
According to a statement published Saturday by the province government’s Emergency Management Bureau, the torrential rains prompted the closure of 60 coal mines in Shanxi. Shanxi is China’s most important coal mining region, producing a quarter of the country’s coal.
According to Chinese official media CCTV, provincial authorities have already set up 50 million yuan (around $7.7 million) to support flood control and rescue efforts.