Authorities confirmed that 13 people had died after a bus plunged into a rushing river amid heavy flooding that has caused at least15 other fatalities in the north of China, outside the Hebei provincial capital of Shijiazhuang. The bridge was almost covered by the surging flood waters. An additional 37 people from the bus had been rescued, among which seven were hospitalized, and that the driver had been placed in custody. At least 1.75 million people have been affected by the flooding. The flooding destroyed at least 17,000 homes and covered farmland in two provinces near the national capital, Beijing.
A direct economic loss of more than 5 billion yuan ($770 million) was estimated for the moment. 190,000 hectares (470,000 acres) of crops were damaged. Floods have also disrupted coal mining operations. Operations in 60 coal mines in the province were suspended. Power shortages that have affected industry and even some homes. Two-thirds of China’s electricity comes from coal. The disaster comes just months after powerful floods ravaged the central Chinese province of Henan in July, killing more than 300 people, including 14 who drowned in a subway tunnel. Scientists say climate change is making extreme flooding worse.