Torrential rains that lashed southern China over the weekend forced the relocation of 7,800 people in one city alone, while two residents have been reported missing, according to a state media report.
About 46,000 people have so far been affected by the flooding in Maoming, Guangdong province, where 1,500 hectares of farmland were inundated and 23 houses were destroyed, CCTV reported on Sunday.
It estimated the total cost of the damage at 223 million yuan (US$32.5 million).
The western region of Guangdong has been the worst hit by the downpours, which started on Saturday and are expected to continue until Wednesday. The situation worsened when a tropical depression that had been lingering along China’s southern coast escalated into a tropical storm on Sunday afternoon, the report said.
At Zhuhai airport, more than 20 flights were cancelled after seawater flooded the ground floor of the terminal building and several access roads.
In the city of Yangjiang, cars were submerged almost up to their windows as the floodwater rose, while several residents of the surrounding rural villages were left without power and no way out as roads became impassable.
Several rivers in the region have swelled to dangerously high levels, the report said.
While southern China was battling heavy rains and flooding over the weekend, the country’s east coast was bracing itself for Typhoon Capricorn, which was expected to make landfall in Zhejiang province on Sunday evening.
Nearly 200 flights into and out of the region were cancelled on Sunday, while dozens of train services were suspended.
More than 135,000 people in Zhejiang have been relocated and the authorities have ordered about 20,000 fishing vessels to return to safe harbour.
In Shanghai, 5,000 people were moved inland and 2,000 boats called home, the report said.