Chinese authorities say least 56 people have been killed and 22 are missing as heavy rains slammed southern China, flooding rivers and towns, cutting off power and halting traffic. China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs said Tuesday that as much as 48.6 centimeters (19 inches) of rain were dumped on several cities since Thursday, including the scenic resort city of Guilin in the Guangxi region.
The ministry says more than 9.5 million people have been affected in some way by the strong rains. Water in major rivers and lakes in the southern province of Hunan have surged to alarming levels, and the collapse of levees forced large-scale evacuations. The airport serving the southwestern hub of Chengdu was shut down for more than an hour on Monday because of rain.