At least 57 people died and eight were missing in flooding across a broad stretch of southern China, state media reported on Monday.
More than 1.27 million people have been forced to flee their homes across nine provinces, including Sichuan, still reeling from last month's earthquake that killed nearly 70,000 people, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Heavy rain in Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces will further raise water levels downstream, especially in the coastal manufacturing powerhouse of Guangdong, Xinhua said. Most of those areas are expected to receive more heavy rain over the next 10 days. The worst-hit province was Guangdong, were 20 people died and eight were still missing, and 5.76 million people in 17 cities were affected, Xinhua said.
Streets and houses along the Xijiang River in Guangdong were submerged in the worst flooding to hit the Pearl River Delta region in 50 years, the official China Daily newspaper said. "A major flood is feared if rain continues," Huang Boqing, deputy director of the Guangdong flood control and drought relief headquarters, was quoted as saying.
Vegetable prices in Guangdong have risen by 70 per cent in four cities including Guangzhou, the paper said.
Economic losses have reached 10.6 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) because of the floods, it said. More than 45,000 houses collapsed and 140,000 have been damaged.