Jim Andrews

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China Flooding Displaces Thousands

May 20, 2013; 8:50 AM ET

Torrential rain late last week has triggered widespread flooding in 10 provinces of southern and central China.

At least 53 people have reportedly died, with others still missing, the Xinhuanet website said.

Crops and homes were destroyed.

Most of the deaths happened in Guangdong, with other fatalities reported in Jiangxi and Guangxi.

Nearly 900,000 people were affected by the heavy rain, hail and flooding within Guangdong, with a further 200,000 feeling the adverse weather affects in neighboring Guangxi, Xinhuanet said.

Xinhuanet reported 2,675 houses destroyed in Guangdong with another 561 damaged or destroyed in Guangxi.

As of last Thursday, rainfall reached at least 340 mm at Shaoguan City, northern Guangdong, Xinhuanet said.

Weather data accessed by AccuWeather.com showed rainfall of 350 mm as of Friday in Fogang, north of Guangzhou, the provincial capital.

During the month of May, normal rainfall soars over southern China, so the month typically marks the start of the yearly rain and flood season. The sharp rise in rainfall, which follows winter's relative quiet, coincides with the sweeping atmospheric shifts culminating in the Indian summer monsoon.

Soaking rain may have been indirectly linked to Tropical Cyclone Mahasen, which made an early Thursday landfall from the Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh. A stream of abundant moisture flowing down wind of the cyclone was crossing southern China on Thursday and Friday.

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