Flooding caused by the heavy rains — which started a month earlier than normal — damaged more than 80,000 homes and damaging large swaths of cropland, affecting more than 10 million people across 13 provinces and cities, the State Flood Control and Disaster Relief Headquarters said on its website.
“South China has already entered its flood season, one month earlier than in past years. The biggest floods have yet to come,” Sun Jun of the National Meteorological Center was cited as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.
The areas include the provinces of Guangdong, Chongqing, Sichuan, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan and Zhejiang.
Sun said the extreme rains were caused by El Nino, which has linked hot, wet air from southern China with cooler air traveling south from northern China, according to Xinhua.