Flood sends bus across river in China; 120,000 people evacuated

By The Associated Press

BEIJING: A bus fell into a river in northern China on Monday, killing at least three people and leaving 11 others missing in floods triggered by heavy rains, covering homes and fields.

Videos posted online showed people on top of a bus nearly submerged in a flowing river on a nearby bridge outside the city of Shijiazhuang, about 265 kilometers (165 miles) southwest of Beijing.

Officials in Hebei province said in a social media post that 37 of the 51 people on the bus had been rescued. State broadcaster CCTV said three had died and 11 were missing.

In neighboring Shanxi province to the west, more than 120,000 people were evacuated after thousands of homes collapsed and 190,000 hectares (470,000 acres) of crops were damaged, the official Xinhua News Agency said on Sunday.

The provincial government said late last week that 60 coal mines in Shanxi, a major coal-producing region, had ceased operations due to rain. The standstill comes as the government tries to address the power shortage that has hit industry and even some households.

Shanxi, which is generally an arid region, has also closed 166 tourist sites. Xinhua said heavy rains damaged a 25-metre (80-foot) section of a wall in the historic city of Pingyao, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The state news agency said incessant rains posed the biggest threat to the city’s ancient clay structures.

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