BEIJING (AP) — Fresh torrential rains swept through China this week, flooding streams, triggering landslides and killing at least 25 people with 13 more missing in the worst-hit city.
The latest tally from the northern city of Xingtai on Saturday will push the overall casualties across the country. The Ministry of Civil Affairs reported a total of 78 deaths and 91 missing on late Friday, when the casualty toll from Xingtai was much lower.
The Daxian village in Xingtai city was nearly wiped out when it was suddenly swamped by a flash flood in the early hours of Wednesday as villagers were asleep. Photos circulating online show dramatic images of drowned children lying in mud.
Angry villagers have questioned authorities if they failed to notify them in time for evacuation when an upstream reservoir discharged floodwater. Authorities blamed a failure of a river levee for the sudden water surge.
The financial media Caixin reported on Saturday said the river narrowed near the village, and a severe blockage because of a utility construction forced the floodwater to surge over the river banks and rush through the village.