Beijing: Torrential rains and storms have battered several parts of China, claiming as many as 53 lives and leaving 18 others missing, and prompted the relocation of 1.72 lakh residents to safer places.
The death toll has gone up to 53 in central China`s Hunan Province as hail and torrential rains battered two mountainous counties in the region last week.
The government of Minxian county in Gansu province also reported 114 hospitalisations, in relation to the storms.
Last Thursday`s storms affected 358,000 people in Minxian, forcing the evacuation of about 30,000 local residents.
Meanwhile, 1.72 lakh residents threatened by rainstorms in central China`s Hunan Province had to be relocated.
Continuous rain has affected over 2.91 million people in 50 of the province`s counties.
Over 3,600 houses in Hunan have collapsed in the storms, which have also led to direct economic losses of about CNY 2.87 billion (USD 456.3 million).
The heavy rains have also lifted water levels on the province`s major rivers to dangerous levels, the provincial meteorological bureau said, adding that the Miluo, Zishui and Yuanshui rivers have all been affected.
The provincial government has ordered local authorities to make preparations for disaster relief work and make efforts to prevent the rivers from flooding, Xinhua reported.
Precipitation in Hunan is expected to drop tomorrow although another round of rain is expected for Friday, according to the provincial meteorological bureau.
In south China`s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, heavy rains have left four people dead and another missing as of Monday, according to the regional civil affairs department.
The downpour has affected more than 70,000 residents in seven cities and 16 affiliated counties in Guangxi, damaging over 450 homes and forcing the evacuation of 1,576 people, the department said.
The rains have also damaged 3,370 hectares of crops in the region.
The rains have triggered floods on some small and mid-size rivers in Guangxi, according to the regional water resources bureau.
Heavy rains had caused water levels in five reservoirs to exceed warning levels.
National meteorological authorities said on Sunday that rainstorms are expected to continue battering the nation`s southern regions, including the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and Guangdong Province, throughout the week.