More than two weeks of torrential rains and flooding in southern and eastern China has left more than 200 people dead or missing. Authorities are also reporting extensive property damage and more than $7 billion in crop losses.
China's official Xinhua news agency says 17 million people in Hubei and Anhui provinces have been impacted by the deluge, and says 1.4 million hectares of crops have been destroyed in the two locales west of Shanghai. Rail travel and major roadways are reported blocked in large parts of Hubei.
Xinhua reported Sunday that authorities in Hubei, seeking to avert further flooding, had deepened a reservoir by blasting its bottom with explosives.
Meteorologists attribute the disaster to a stalled front that began dumping heavy rain across a wide swath of southern China on June 18.
More rain was predicted for the early week, and authorities in central China's Hunan province warned of landslides, flooding and "other geological disasters" in the coming days.