Floods and landslides caused by the most intense rainfall in decades have forced thousands to flee southern China.
Two provinces raised flood warnings Tuesday after rivers flooded their banks.
According to China’s National Meteorological Centre, the average rainfall in Guangdong, Fujian, and Guangxi was 24ins (62.1cm) between the middle of May and the middle June. This is the highest level of rainfall since 1961.
Around 145,000 people were evacuated from Guangxi and more than 2,700 homes collapsed.
The flood alerts for Qingyuan and Shaoguan in Guangdong were raised to Level 1 – which is the highest.
Guangdong officials claimed that more than 200,000 people were evacuated.
State television reported that authorities urged residents to seek higher ground after flooding reached record levels.
Officials stated that construction sites, businesses and public transport may be closed. However, staff who are unable to travel to work should not have to go.
Authorities in Jiangxi province, northeast raised a flood alert after 485,000 people were affected in nine districts, according to Xinhua news agency.
It reported that economic losses totalled 470 million Yuan (PS57.2m), and that 43,300 hectares were destroyed.
Photos from state media showed flood-prone homes and people trying to remove mud landslides using spades.
The spell of heavy rain in southern provinces is expected to peak today, and then it is forecast that it will move north starting Wednesday.
China has seen unprecedented rainfall in recent months. Experts say this is a result of global warming.
Last August, 21 people died in heavy downpours that struck central China’s Hubei Province. This was just weeks after records floods decimated more than 300 people in neighboring Henan.