Flash floods kill 7 in SW China

seven people died and another eight were slightly injured in floods sudden on saturday Longcaogou of Pengzhouprovince of sichuan, southwest china, local authorities announced Sunday, noting that some tourists who were camping in the dry river were trapped in the flood after failing. evacuate on time.

The Sichuan provincial government issued an urgent notice on Saturday night, requiring local authorities across the province to urgently inspect scenic spots prone to natural disasters, especially wading areas, and organize managers to monitor the key locations and deter tourists from unsafe locations. behavior at the right time.

According to video shot by witnesses at the scene on Saturday, several tourists were camping in tents in the dried-up river, including the elderly and children. The flash flood swept away some tourists and tents in just a few seconds, causing people at the scene to scream in shock.

Chinese authorities continue rescue efforts

The Chinese authorities continue with the rescue efforts. Longcaogou, one of the most popular places in China.

More than 500 rescuers from the Pengzhou Emergency Management Bureau, Public Security Bureau, fire brigade and other departments are searching valleys and rivers for missing tourists over the weekend, local authorities said, and They added that at least 15 professional rescue teams, including mountain rescue and diving rescue teams, are involved in the rescue efforts. The rescue efforts at the site are coming to an end.

A government staff member from Longmenshan Township, to which Longcaogou belongs, told the Global Times on Sunday that the local government is still actively coordinating rescue work at the site and will introduce stricter measures to strengthen the management of places like Longgcaogou after the disaster.

The local emergency management office said in a notice late Saturday that it had organized local officials and volunteers to try to persuade tourists camping along the river to leave after receiving heavy rain forecasts at short notice at 2:37 p.m. Video taken by witnesses shows a manager yelling at tourists, “Everyone please disembark.”

As we mentioned in AmericanPost.NewsLess than an hour later, at 3:30 pm, a flash flood in Longcaogou quickly filled the originally dry river, and some tourists who were camping in the area were trapped in the waters after failing to evacuate in time.

Although Longcaogou was hit by floods in 2015 and 2017, which caused economic losses of more than 1.5 million yuan ($222,000), it has not deterred tourists from visiting the area.

Local shopkeepers said that since it was a weekend, thousands of people may have been visiting Longcaogou when the incident occurred. “It was so crowded that I couldn’t even find a parking space,” a man surnamed Xu, who was visiting Longcaogou from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, told Jimu News on Saturday.

Longcaogou, one of the most popular places in China

Longcaogou, one of the most popular places in China.

Meanwhile, Longcaogou has been widely recommended on social media platforms as an “Instagram-worthy new location” and a “niche resort”. Many bloggers posted pictures of the beautiful valley scenery and their travels on Little Red Book and Dazhong Dianping lifestyle sharing platforms and some short video platforms including Douyin with subtitles recommending people to go there.

However, local residents told the media that it is a spillway river and not a formal scenic spot, and that there are warning signs along the river that read “No Trespassing.”

Some villagers told China News Weekly that going to the mountains during the rainy season is extremely risky and “no one can predict when flash floods will suddenly occur.”

In early 2021, local authorities issued several warnings about the dangers of visiting Longcaogou, which had been claimed to be in an area prone to landslides, mountain floods and other natural disasters, posing a major security threat. tourist staff.

Barbed wire has been erected around Loncaogou to keep tourists away, and local authorities have posted warning signs and banners in prominent places, but that hasn’t stopped the valley from becoming a popular photo spot in the mountains. social media, with many celebrities even teaching their fans how to climb over the fence to get into the danger zone.

It may interest you: Floods in China leave 12 dead and thousands of evacuees

Several incidents have occurred in this area of ​​China

The incident in Longcaogou, where influential people’s trips to dangerous places spawned copycats, is not an isolated case. Several security incidents have been found at “wild” tourist attractions in China in recent years.

For example, on the U-shaped 315 Expressway in northwest China’s Qinghai province, tourists gathered in the middle of the road to pose for photos, sometimes even forcing passing vehicles and heavy trucks to stop. .

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