Heavy Rains Cause Collapsed Roads, Pipeline Explosion in Northwest China

(Reuters) — Multiple roads collapsed, and a natural gas pipeline exploded after heavy rains that started Tuesday morning inundated parts of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. 

The natural gas pipeline exploded in the middle of the night, after a nearby road collapsed in Suide County, Yulin City.

"It happened at around 01:40 this morning when we were sleeping. After we were woken up by the blast, which was so loud, I went out to check what happened. When I stepped out of my home, I realized it was a blast from a natural gas pipeline. I saw rocks on the road had exploded to that wall," said Ma Yongping, a local resident.

As of 17:00 on Wednesday, altogether 52 households, totaling more than 100 local residents, have been evacuated to safety. No casualties have been reported.

A road also collapsed in Qingjian County. Five cars were swept away with the road, but narrowly escaped being swept away by the surging river just meters away. One of the cars was turned upside down by the force of the collapse, but fortunately no one was hurt.

The county government mobilized rescuers who relocated a total of 489 people to safety as of Wednesday afternoon. 

Provincial weather authorities warn that the stormy weather will continue to batter the area. Local authorities called on relevant departments to prepare for disaster prevention and flood cleanup.

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