BEIJING, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Rainstorms since early the week have swept a wide swathe of south China, leaving dozens people dead or missing and forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate.
In Jiangxi Province, two people were killed, three more were missing and more than 100,000 have been evacuated following the heaviest rain this summer, local flood control authorities said.
The rain damaged 178,000 hectares of crops, caused 8,231 houses to collapse, and incurred a direct economic loss of 1.31 billion yuan (191.7 million U.S. dollars).
By 3 p.m. Friday, average rainfall in the province was 97.4 millimeters, while the maximum topped 540.8 millimeters in Niedu town of Chongyi County. The province, for the first time in history, issued the highest level of rainstorm alarm on Friday.
Many reservoirs were swollen because of the rain, among which six were discharging water, while levels in the rest were under the alarm line.
In Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, four were missing and 11,845 were evacuated. The torrential rain also damaged 12,440 hectares of crops and killed 53,300 head of cattle.
Boats have been banned on the Lijiang River as water levels rose to alarming levels, Chen You, head of Guilin maritime bureau, told Xinhua late Friday.
In Hunan Province, seven were killed and one was missing in rainstorm-related disasters. The rainstorms damaged 113,000 hectares of crops, killed 6,500 head of cattle.
The rains also disrupted traffic on 79 roads and forced 152 businesses to halt production in Hunan.
In north, Beijing is plagued with higher-than-normal temperature and it is forecast to receive less-than-normal rainfalls.
The Chinese capital on Friday issued an orange alert for hot weather, the third of its kind this summer. Temperature in parts of the city exceeded 37 Celsius degrees Friday.