Torrential rain has sparked deadly floods along the Yangtze River inflicting a rising death toll over the past few days and sweeping away key transport networks across central and eastern China.
State officials placed the number of fatalities at 186 with another 45 people missing as of Sunday, according to the South China Morning Post. Eight of those deaths resulted from a factory wall collapsing and burying workers alive.
The heavy downpour has seen 1,200 counties in 26 provinces and municipalities inundated, the Post reports, with the provinces of Zhejiang, Anhui, Hubei, Hunan, Chongqing and Guizhou bearing the brunt of the damage. Around 1.5 million people have been evacuated and 56,000 homes destroyed, with heavy rain washing away key rail networks and forcing many city roads to shut down.
As of yet there is no end in sight to the severe weather. Tropical storm Nepartak is forecast to hit southeastern China in the coming days.