The death toll has reportedly risen to 21 with at least 35 missing (Update: 24 dead and at least 30 missing) as a result of the flash floods that have followed the heavy rainfall that has broken the drought in southern China and along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze. Guizhou has been worst hit with 45,000 residents of Wangmo County being forced to evacuate. Twenty one of the dead are from Guizhou, and three from Jiangsu. The photograph above was taken in Wangmo Country on June 6.
Power and communications links are down in several towns, local officials say, with some roads and bridges being washed away. In all 270,000 people in Guizhou have been affected by the floods. More heavy rain is in the forecast for the south, though a heat wave is expected in the north and east.
The Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters says that the rains have relieved more than 1 million people from water shortages but 2.1 million remain short of drinking water. As of Monday, the total area of parched farmland had shrunk by 1.5 million hectares to 2.3 million hectares.