One of China’s top coal-producing regions has shuttered its mines and evacuated more than 120,000 people after unseasonably heavy rainfall flooded the province, with more rain forecast.

The deluge in northern Shanxi comes just months after record floods hit the country’s central Henan province in July – killing more than 300 people – and raises fears about ensuring the supply of energy ahead of the winter.

Many parts of Shanxi, a landlocked province that generally has dry weather, saw record-breaking rainfall over the past week, according to the provincial government, which ordered coal mines to take flood-proofing measures and make emergency plans to be “activated immediately in case of grave danger”.

At least 60 coal mines in the province have suspended operations due to the floods, according to a local government statement, even as the country faces a power supply crunch.

Beijing recently ordered coal mines to spare no costs to increase production and ensure supply, and said it would allow higher electricity prices in a bid to boost generation. Analysts have warned the move could add to inflation concerns.

China has been hit by widespread power cuts amid record coal prices, state electricity price controls and tough emissions targets that have squeezed the power supply.

More than 1.75 million residents have so far been affected by the floods in Shanxi, which state news agency Xinhua reported had received more than three times the average monthly rainfall for October in just five days last week.



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