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Heavy flooding in southern China kills 22, seven missing

Beijing, May 26 (): Latest report from the Chinese authorities say about 22 people have died and seven people still remain missing after heavy downpours hit a southern province of China.

The rainstorms lashed Guangzhou, Qingyuan and Zhaoqing cities in Guangdong province causing floods, the Chinese news agency Xinhua cited the provincial flood control and civil affairs authorities as saying.

Heavy rain has been lashing the Guangdong province since Wednesday. The Shanwei city in Guangdong province has received about 628 millimetres (25 inches) of rain since Wednesday. In the city of Liuyang in Hunan province about 200 millimetres (8 inches) of rain were recorded over a period of 24-hours. The extensive flooding had affected hundreds of thousands of people in the southern China region, said the state news agency of the country.

The historic-level of downpours that smashed the cities of Qingyuan, Guangzhou and Zhaoqing had triggered mudslides, collapse of about 1,143 houses and heavy floods. Nearly 21,000 people had been displaced from this region, while in Pingxiang city, about 5,000 people remained trapped in the floodwaters Sunday noon.

The news agency Xinhua News said the heavy flooding had affected abut 6,49,000 people in the city of Qingyuan in Guangdong province with 3,300 of their houses collapsing in the heavy downpour. The report says it is estimated that the flooding has resulted in a loss up to $293 million.

In seven rivers, the water levels have crossed the danger mark. The rain has also affected traffic, communications, and schools. Sixteen provincial highways or national have been shut due to heavy continuous downpour.

Crops in the farms were submerged in water and the villagers had been forced to climb to their roofs of their houses to escape from the rising water.

Landslides have smashed the rural areas. The provincial authorities of Guangdong have started an emergency reaction system and have sent relief materials and working teams to the affected areas.