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Dozens killed after historic flooding in southern China

At least 47 people have died in the Guangdong province.

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Rescuers look under a vehicle

At least 47 people have died after downpours in southern China’s Guangdong province caused historic flooding and landslides, state media reported.

State broadcaster CCTV said another 38 people were confirmed dead in Meizhou city, adding to nine others previously reported dead in the same city.

Heavy rains caused landslides, floods and mudslides that severely damaged eight townships in Pingyuan County, where the latest deaths were reported, CCTV said.

The previous day, CCTV reported four deaths in Meizhou’s Meixian district, and five in Jiaoling County.

The heaviest rains fell from Sunday into Tuesday, toppling trees and collapsing homes. A road leading to Meixian district completely collapsed during the heavy rains. The Songyuan river, which winds through Meizhou, experienced its biggest recorded flood, according to CCTV.

Rescuers clear debris in a flood-affected area in Sishui Township of Pingyuan County
Further bad weather has been forecast following the deadly floods (Xinhua via AP)

The estimated direct economic loss is 3.65 billion yuan (£396 million) in Jiaoling county, while in Meixian district, the loss is 1.06 billion yuan (£115 million).

Other parts of the country also face torrential rains and extreme weather in the next 24 hours, with the National Meteorological Centre issuing a warning for several provinces in the south and a few individual places in the north.

Henan and Anhui provinces in central China, as well as Jiangsu province on the coast and the southern province of Guizhou, all are expecting hail and strong thunderstorms, according to the forecast.

Rainfall could be as high as 50mm to 80mm (1.9in to 3.14in) in one day in Henan, Anhui and Hubei provinces, the National Meteorological Centre said.

Last week, the southern Fujian and Guangxi provinces experienced landslides and flooding amid heavy rain. One student died in Guangxi after falling into a swollen river.

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