At least 13 people have died and one is missing after the bus they were on was submerged during heavy rains when crossing a bridge in China.

the state broadcaster CCTV said another 37 passengers were saved, seven of whom had to be hospitalized.

The driver was arrested for ignoring the warnings not to try to cross the bridge, located outside the city of Shijiazhuang (Hebei), which was almost covered by water due to the floods.

The accident occurred on Monday after heavy rains caused flooding that destroyed homes and flooded agricultural land in two provinces in northern China.

In Shanxi province, which borders Hebei, 15 people died in floods that caused direct economic losses of more than five billion yuan (€665 million), CCTV reported.

More than 120,000 people were evacuated from the province when thousands of houses collapsed and 190,000 hectares of plantations were damaged.

Floods have also disrupted coal mining operations in those provinces at a time when the country faces a shortage of energy supplies.

Shanxi, normally a dry region, has also closed 166 tourist sites after a flood damaged a section of the old wall in the historic city of Pingyao, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

China’s National Meteorological Center reported that rains in the north of the country set a “historic record” last September.

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