Chongqing, China, July 20, 2007—
A man cautiously walks the handrail of staircase in Chongqing, China's most populous municipality.
The flood, caused by a 16-hour thunderstorm, killed 15 people and stopped all air, road, and rail traffic in the region, state media said Wednesday. This week alone, 59 people have died in China as a result of torrential rains, lightning strikes and mudflows, the Associated Press reported.
A current string of flooding around the world has experts saying such incidents are more likely to occur as a result of climate change. Meanwhile, communities continue to battle the floods. In recent weeks, parts of China had the heaviest rainfall since records began, causing more than 400 deaths. In South Asia some 770 have died in recent floods, Reuters reported.
Natural disasters have wreaked havoc in China throughout 2007, creating monetary losses estimated at 76 billion Yuan (9.7 billion U.S. dollars). This year alone, 715 people have died, and 129 remain missing as a result of natural disasters, the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs reported Thursday.
They hadn't seen rains like this in living memory. There had been episodes of flooding, but this was right off the map. You are talking massive amounts of rain that have never been seen before," UNICEF spokeswoman Kathryn Grusovin told Reuters.
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Photograph by China Daily/Reuters