China is concerned about the effects of global warming after heavy rains collapsed a highway.

At least 48 people were killed in a landslide that washed away part of a highway in Guangdong province (southeast China). The area has been experiencing heavy rain for a month, which Chinese officials have linked to climate change. Two of the four lanes of the road collapsed near the city of Meizhou around 2 a.m. on Wednesday, May 1, the first day of China's Labor Day holiday.

About twenty cars were swept away. “Most of the vehicles were buried in the run. They were covered with large amounts of earth., explained Wen Yongdeng, Communist Party Secretary of the Meizhou Emergency Bureau. Rescue operations have been hampered by persistent rains and the possibility of further landslides.

The area around Meizhou has received 56 centimeters of rain in the past four weeks, more than four times the amount recorded in 2023. Guangdong, China's industrial heartland and most populous province of 127 million people, has suffered from the start. In April, record rainfall led to flooding that killed four people in the week of April 22 and forced authorities to evacuate tens of thousands of homes.

“High humidity in the air”

On Sunday, April 28, just days before this landslide, a tornado killed five people, injured 33 and damaged 140 buildings in the provincial capital of Canton. In June 2022, the same area received its heaviest rainfall in sixty years.

Warming is one of the reasons for the heavy rainfall in the half of the country south of the Yangtze River, Ma Xugan, forecast director of the National Meteorological Center, explained to the official press in late April. “Seasonal high temperatures have led to more moisture in the air, causing unstable weather conditions that can produce sudden and highly destructive weather conditions such as thunderstorms, hail, strong winds and heavy rains »Detailed Mr. Ma.

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Yin Ji, head of hydrological forecasting at the Ministry of Water Resources, also spoke about the role of climate change in this scenario, which is recurring. “Flood data from recent years show that extreme precipitation events are occurring every year, while the trend of increasing temperatures under the influence of global warming is intensifying”According to he declared China Daily.

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