A flash flood in Shaanxi province in northwestern China killed at least five people, local authorities said Tuesday. The flood hit Xiaoyuhecun Valley in the province Monday afternoon after the area recorded its heaviest rainfall in 30 years, according to Chinese state media.
Local authorities issued a yellow rainstorm alert for the region Monday evening and cautioned that torrential rains would lead to landslides and floods. Separately, the country’s National Meteorological Center issued a blue rainstorm alert Tuesday morning in seven provinces in central and eastern China, according to South China Morning Post (SCMP).
Rescue forces saved four of 13 people who were swept away from a restaurant in a village near Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province, Xinhua News Agency reported. Over 50 Chinese tourists and villagers were rescued and relocated to a safer place, Liang Bo, a firefighter, told the agency. Rising river-water levels reportedly damaged roads in the Xiaoyuhecun Valley where the village is located. A car carrying three people was washed away in a landslide triggered by the incessant rainfall in the area, SCMP reported, citing state broadcaster CCTV.
At least 200 police officers, firefighters and local residents reportedly searched the area overnight for casualties.
Xi’an is located in a greenbelt surrounded by arid mountains down the Silk Road, an ancient route of trade and cultural transmission. According to the Associated Press, such Chinese scenic spots suffer from mismanagement, poor crowd control and other safety issues.