7 dead, 8 injured in flash flood at scenic hot spot
Seven people were killed and eight people injured in a flash flood in Pengzhou on Saturday, a city under the administration of the Sichuan provincial capital, Chengdu.
At about 3:30 pm on Saturday, a flash flood hit Longcao valley in Longmenshan town, Pengzhou. Tourists unable to escape in time were caught in the flood.
Four died on Saturday and three more died from their injuries on Sunday morning.
The Pengzhou city emergency management bureau said on Sunday that search and rescue operations were coming to a conclusion.
At 6 am on Sunday, 438 rescue workers equipped with unmanned lifeboats, diving devices, life detectors, satellite positioning systems and other professional rescue equipment began searching a 30-kilometer downstream stretch of the river.
Longcao is prone to mudslides and flash floods. According to the bureau, floods in 2015 and 2017 destroyed more than 100 meters of the river bank. Longmenshan has long been popular with Chengdu residents for its cool weather and water in summer.
Clear warnings had been set up on the river bank and along streams in the town of Longmenshan to dissuade tourists from swimming.
Longcao valley experiences frequent weather fluctuations, as rain often falls up on the mountains but not lower down. As a result of its location in the heart of the Longmen Mountains, if dangerous, rain-induced flooding occurs, it is difficult for rescue workers to arrive in time, said Long Chengyan, Party chief of Xiaoyudong community, whose jurisdiction includes the valley.
According to villagers, the flash flood happened within seconds.
Wang Yi, a 21-year-old university student, had been cooling off in a river in the Longcao valley for barely 20 minutes when people began to shout that "a flood is coming".
Standing on a rock about 10 meters from the river bank, he saw a wall of water rush down the mountain.
Wang said that his older sister slipped trying to get away from the river and that he had pulled her ashore. "If we had been several seconds later, we would have been washed away by the flood," he said.
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