China’s deadly weather from heat to hailstorms take a toll

BEIJING (Reuters) -Torrential rain triggered flash floods in northern China killing one person and sweeping away two, state media reported on Monday, the latest victims of weeks of extreme weather that has brought misery to many and shows no sign of ending.

The heavy rain, heat and recent hail have been damaging infrastructure, crops and endangering livestock across the country. It has also been testing the patience of many of China’s 1.4 billion people and raising fears of climate change.

Rain in the Inner Mongolia region caused flash floods on Sunday killing one person and leaving two missing, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Since Friday, rescue workers in various parts of southern China, including the southwestern province of Guizhou, have been moving people and livestock to safety from floods and landslides, the CGTN state media outlet reported.

Intense rain lashed parts of Yunnan province over the weekend, sweeping cars down streets that looked like rivers, media reported. Mudslides in Sichuan province, also in the southwest, killed several people last week.

The rain-soaked Xiangxi area of southern Hunan province had suffered economic losses of about 575 million yuan ($79 million), with 95,399 people and 6,648.34 hectares of crops affected, its emergency bureau said in a statement.

Meanwhile, northern China remains in the grip of unusually hot weather that set in earlier than normal and over larger areas, state media reported, citing the National Climate Center.

The hot weather is expected to last for another 10 days, state media said, as exasperated people posted their frustration on social media.

“I’m sick of seeing the term hot temperature,” one person posted.

“I can’t even cry as my tears evaporate,” said another.

For weeks, weather forecasters have also warned of strong convective weather, which often brings thunderstorms.

Hailstorms on Saturday in Heilongjiang province in the northeast shattered windows, according to videos posted on social media.

The extreme weather comes as John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy, is expected in China soon for talks.

($1 = 7.2523 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Bernard Orr and Ella Cao; Editing by Robert Birsel)