at least 48 dead, according to a new report published the day after the tragedy

Rescuers are still on site Thursday, trying to find survivors in a muddy hillside, after very bad weather in Guangdong province.

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Published on 05/02/2024 1:40 p.m.

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type="image/avif">>An aerial view of the collapse of a section of highway in Guangdong province, China, on May 2, 2024, the day after the tragedy. (WANG RUIPING/XINHUA VIA AFP)>>
An aerial view of the collapse of a section of highway in Guangdong province, China, on May 2, 2024, the day after the tragedy. (WANG RUIPING/XINHUA VIA AFP)

Rescuers are still increasing their efforts. But the collapse of a highway in southern China has already left 48 dead, according to a new report published by state media Chine Nouvelle on Thursday, May 2. Intense rain caused a section of road from Meizhou city to Dabu county to collapse on Wednesday. Heavier than normal at this time of year, just before the monsoon season, these rains are linked to climate change, experts believe. Vehicles were thrown into the nearly 18 meter long gash in the tarmac and rolled down the steep slope below.

“The DNA of three people is being compared and confirmed”, also specified New China, without specifying whether these three victims were included in the 48 people who died. Thirty people were also injured but their lives are not threatened, according to the same Source. Footage from state broadcaster CCTV showed excavators digging into the muddy hillside beneath the collapsed road. Nearby, a crane lifted charred and destroyed vehicles to place them on a truck, under the eyes of people held behind a security cordon.

President Xi Jinping ordered authorities to “put extra effort into rescue operations and treatment of the injured”, CCTV reported. Around 500 people were sent to the scene to help with the rescue efforts. The provincial government has “mobilized specialized elite forces and went out of their way to carry out search and rescue operations”according to Chine Nouvelle.

In recent weeks, persistent heavy rains have fallen on the industrial province of Guangdong, densely populated. Some parts have received up to 600 millimeters of rain in the past ten days, three times more than the amount normally expected at this time of year, the national weather office said. More downpours are expected soon and authorities have urged people to plan their trips carefully during the May holidays, which last until Sunday.

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