In recent weeks, torrential rains have caused severe flooding and landslides in large swathes of southern China, damaging homes, crops and roads.
And the landslides killed seven people in Guangxi Province on Thursday, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The report said that one person is still missing.
In Hunan Province, 10 people have been killed this month and three are still missing, with 286,000 people evacuated and a total of 1.79 million residents affected, officials said at a press conference on Wednesday.
More than 2,700 homes have collapsed or severely damaged, and 96,160 hectares of crops destroyed – heavy losses to a province that serves as a major rice-producing center in China. Direct economic losses are estimated at more than 4 billion yuan ($600 million), officials said.
Late last month, floods and landslides killed eight people in coastal Fujian Province, five people in southwestern Yunnan Province, and two children swept away by torrential rains in Guangxi Province.
Summer floods occur regularly in China, especially in the densely populated agricultural areas along the Yangtze River and its tributaries. But scientists have been warning for years that the climate crisis will amplify extreme weather, making them more deadly and frequent.
Global warming has already intensified the intensity of extreme precipitation events in the East Asian region, which includes southern China. The intensity and frequency of extreme rain events are expected to increase with global warming, according to the latest science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The number of powerful tropical cyclones has also increased.
Tragedy swept the nation, raising questions about the preparedness of Chinese cities for harsh weather.