Heavy rains cause flooding in South China killing dozens

At least 56 people have been killed and another 22 reported missing as heavy rains continue to pummel southern China, flooding towns, cutting off power and halting traffic, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs said Tuesday.

As much as 48.6 centimeters (19 inches) of rain has been dumped on several cities since Thursday, including the scenic resort city of Guilin in the Guangxi region, the ministry said.

More than 11 million people in 11 southern provinces were affected by floods, landslides and hailstorms, the ministry said. Rivers have broken their banks, inundating surrounding communities.

The ministry said water levels in major rivers and lakes in the southern province of Hunan have surged to alarming levels, and that the collapse of levees forced large-scale evacuations.

Dozens of flights at several airports serving major cities in the region including Chengdu, Changsha, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen were canceled or delayed, stranding thousands of travelers. Chengdu’s airport was shut down for more than an hour Monday because of rain, forcing 13 incoming flights to land elsewhere, according to state media reports.

Trains also were halted, and roads were cut off to many towns and villages in the region. Television footage showed major flooding in cities, where the lower floors of homes and shops have been submerged.

The national meteorological center forecast more rain to come this week in southern China.

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Rescuers pile up sandbags

Rescuers pile up sandbags to block flood waters at a flooded village in Yiyang, Hunan province, China, July 4, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

Rescuers transfer residents

Rescuers transfer residents with a boat at a flooded area in Guilin, Guangxi province, China, July 2, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

A man stands in the Yangtze River

A man stands in the Yangtze River along the River Beach Park in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China on July 3, 2017, after heavy rains caused the water levels to rise. (Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Policemen sweep a flooded street

Paramilitary policemen sweep a flooded street in Guilin, Guangxi province, China, July 3, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

A man nagivates a flooded street

A man uses an improvised flotation device to move through floodwaters on a flooded street in Liuzhou, Guangxi province, China, July 3, 2017. (Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Students are transferred by a forklift

Students are transferred by a forklift through a flooded area at a college in Guilin, Guangxi province, China, July 3, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

The flooded Yangtze River

People spend time at a flooded bank of the Yangtze River in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, July 3, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

Rescuers transfer residents

Rescuers row as they transfer residents with a boat at a flooded area in Guilin, Guangxi province, China, July 2, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

A flooded area in Liuzhou

A general view shows a flooded area in Liuzhou, Guangxi province, China, July 2, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

People wade in a flooded street

People wade in a flooded street on July 2, 2017 in Yongfu, China. Heavy rainstorms hit south China since late June and caused severe floods in many parts of Hunan, Guangxi, Jiangxi and Sichuan. (Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

A flooded area in Liuzhou

A general view shows a flooded area in Liuzhou, Guangxi province, China, July 2, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

Soldiers carry sandbags

Soldiers carry sandbags to reinforce a temporary dyke along Xiangjiang River on July 2, 2017 in Changsha, China. (Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Rescuers evacuate people

Rescuers evacuate people during a flood in Xinshao county, Hunan province, China, July 2, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

A man paddles through a flooded area

A man makes his way with a wooden boat through a flooded area in Liuzhou, Guangxi province, China ,July 2, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

The rising Xiang River

Aerial view of the rising water level of Xiang River on July 2, 2017 in Changsha, Hunan Province of China. Heavy rain hit south China since late June and caused severe floods in many parts of Hunan, Guangxi, Jiangxi and Sichuan. The water level of Xiang River reached 3.44 meters over the warning line by 3 pm Sunday. (Photo: Yang Huafeng/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)

A man sits next to rescued pigs

A man sits next to the pigs he rescued from the flood in Tuanshanhu village near Changsha, Hunan province, China, July 2, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

People watch the rising Li River

People watch the rising water level of the Li River during a flood in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, July 1, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

Rescuers evacuate people

Rescuers evacuate people by boat during a flood in Xinshao county, Hunan province, China, July 2, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

A flooded street

Pedestrians and vehicles cross a flooded street during heavy rain in Changsha, Hunan province, China, July 1, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

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