Landslides and flooding in neighboring Shaanxi province had displaced at least 70,000 people and killed 12.
The rains, which started in late September, had largely subsided on Sunday but were still causing landslides and flooding as officials warned residents, factories, schools and mines to stay on alert. Videos from Shanxi showed submerged villages, flooded farmland, drowned livestock and residents evacuating their homes with their belongings in plastic bags.
“Our team was evacuating villagers day and night. The whole village was flooded, with water levels as high as three meters,” said Pao Hua-an, head of Jingping village, who said the team was able to move all 1,300 residents.
Volunteers were updating a running list of more than 50 areas in need of help. In Yuncheng village, trapped residents waiting for rescue had built their own dam, guarding it in shifts.
The flooding marks the latest natural disaster in China after record rains over the summer in Henan province left more than 300 dead, underlining the country’s vulnerability to extreme weather events linked to climate change.
Ahead of a key climate summit in November, China, the world’s largest contributor of carbon emissions, is expected to release details of its plans to tackle climate change, possibly this week.