The collapse of a highway in southern China left thirty-six dead, according to a new report released Thursday, May 2, by the New China news agency. Thirty people were also injured, according to state media, which specifies that their lives are no longer in danger.

Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered authorities to “step up efforts to rescue on-site operations and treat the injured,” CCTV reported on Thursday. Around 500 people were dispatched to the scene to assist in the rescue effort. The provincial government “mobilized specialized elite forces and went out of its way to carry out search and rescue operations,” according to Xinhua.

Twenty vehicles were “trapped” when a section of road between Meizhou City and Dabu County, Guangdong Province, collapsed at around 2:10 a.m. Wednesday morning (8:10 p.m. PDT on Tuesday). ), involving fifty-four people in total, New China said. An initial report showed twenty-four people killed.

Public broadcaster CCTV said the collapse was a “natural geological disaster” that occurred “under the impact of persistent heavy rain”.

Torrential rains

Downpours have fallen in recent weeks in the industrial province of Guangdong, of which Guangzhou is the capital, causing severe flooding and landslides. In recent days, the torrential rains have been much heavier than normal for this time of year, just before the monsoon season.

“Intensifying climate change” increases the likelihood of heavy rains that typically only appear in the summer months, Yin Zhijie, head of hydrological forecasting at China’s Ministry of Water Resources, said last month. , on Chinese national radio.