Beijing: Torrential rains killed at least 164 people across south China over the weekend, flooding major cities, sweeping away houses and cutting off a main rail link, state media reported on Monday.
The rains were triggered by Tropical Storm Bilis, which killed dozens in the Philippines and Taiwan before hitting China on Friday. Forecasters had said the storm would weaken as it hit China, but instead it wrought havoc across the country's south.
Downpours continued on Monday across much of southern China, where 12 million people in six provinces have been affected by floods and 138 are still missing, state-run China Central Television (CCTV) said.
A section of the Beijing-Zhuhai highway that links the national capital to the country's southern industrial hubs has been submerged by water as deep as three metre in Hunan, CCTV said.
In far-southern Guangdong province, floods severed water supplies and caused blackouts in Shaoguan, a city of half a million, the television said. In the southeastern coastal province of Fujian, where Bilis made landfall in China, floods swept away 19,000 homes and forced the evacuation of 519,000 people, the Beijing News said.
CCTV showed pictures of residents wading in water up to their knees on flooded streets in the provincial capital Fuzhou. South China is plagued by rainstorms every summer, but this year's flood season has been particularly deadly, already claiming hundreds of lives before Bilis struck.
The Beijing-Guangzhou railway was cut near Shaoguan, disrupting cargo and passenger services, and it was unclear when trains services could resume, CCTV said.