Rescuers race to reach those trapped by floods in China's Guangdong

Rescuers evacuate stranded residents on April 20 in the flood-hit city of Shaoguan, Guangdong province. - Xinhua

BEIJING: Rescuers on boats in China's flood-ravaged Guangdong province raced to evacuate trapped residents, carrying some elderly people by piggyback from their homes and deploying helicopters to save villagers caught in rural landslides.

The southern Chinese province has been battered by unusually heavy, sustained and widespread rainfall since Thursday (April 18), with powerful storms ushering in an earlier-than-normal start to the region's annual flooding season.

Eleven people were missing in Guangdong by Monday morning, the state-owned Xinhua News Agency reported without giving further details.

Across the province, 53,741 people have been relocated, with 12,256 people being urgently resettled, Xinhua reported, citing the provincial government.

The cities of Shaoguan, Qingyuan, Zhaoqing and Jiangmen to the west and north of the provincial capital Guangzhou have been particularly hard hit.

In Qingyuan, houses and shops along the Bei River were submerged as the Pearl River tributary swelled, local media reported.

Aerial footage showed flood waters overwhelming a nearby town, leaving only roofs and treetops untouched.

Rescuers in Qingyuan tackled muddy waters, neck-high in some areas, to extract residents, including an elderly lady trapped in waist-deep water in an apartment building, videos on social media showed.

Other social media videos showed water gushing through roads and vehicles in disarray.

In Shaoguan, landslides trapped villagers who had to be rescued by helicopter while other rescuers travelled on foot to reach cut-off disaster sites.

The Chinese military also stepped in to help clear roads.

The rains eased early on Monday, but some schools in the province were suspended.

Powerful thunderstorms are expected to return later in the week after a brief respite, marking an unusually early wet spell that is more typical in the months of May and June. - Reuters

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China , Guangdong , floods


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