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In this image taken from video footage run by China's CCTV, mud covers an area in the aftermath of flooding in Datong county in western China's Qinghai province on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022.
Sudden rainstorm triggers landslide and diverts river resulting in floods

Sixteen people are dead and 36 others missing after a flash flood hit Qinghai province in western China amid the ongoing torrential rains, according to Chinese media reports.

Heavy and sudden downpours in Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County of Qinghai province started late on Wednesday, causing flooding in the mountains and triggering landslides, according to China's state broadcaster CCTV.

The flash floods affected an area with more than 6,000 people and over 1,500 houses, CCTV said.

The local government has sent a rescue team of 2,000 people and more than 160 vehicles for disaster relief.

Two people reported missing earlier have been found and the search for others is on, the state media said in an online report.

Emergency authorities described the situation as a "mountain torrent" disaster, which results from heavy squalls in mountainous areas. Water running down the mountain can turn streams into raging rivers, catching people by surprise.

Severe flooding in several regions in China over the last few weeks has displaced almost half a million people and caused damages of $250 million damages. The situation has been described as the worst since record-keeping started 60 years ago.