China floods: Four dead as cities submerged after days of record breaking rainfall

Footage from China shows rescuers racing to evacuate trapped residents and streets inundated with water after the country was hit by intense floods and record-breaking rainfall.

Southern cities in China have been battered as heavy rainfall has flooded cities on the Pearl River Delta - once dubbed the "factory floor of the world".

The downpours have killed four people in Guangdong province as of Monday, according to state-owned Xinhua News Agency. Ten others are still missing.

The severe weather also threatens to overflow major rivers, waterways and reservoirs, leading China's water resource ministry to issue an emergency advisory, according to state media.

Since Thursday, 36 homes have been destroyed in the province, home to more than 127 million people, while 48 were left severely damaged.

Many parts of the region have seen precipitation records broken in April, with the amount of rainfall being two to three times higher than is typical for the month.

Chinese meteorologists also noted that thunderstorms are set to continue throughout the week in conditions more commonly seen in May and June.

The north of Guangdong's capital Guangzhou, as well as the cities of Shaoguan, Zhaoqing and Jiangmen have been left half-submerged in floodwater.

Pictures also show residents of Qingyuan, a city of four million, using boats to cross flooded roads.

As of Sunday afternoon, a total of 82,559 people had been evacuated across the province.

The Guangdong Maritime Safety Administration on Sunday initiated a level II emergency response as water levels at over 30 hydrological stations in the province surpassed the alert threshold.

China has a four-tier flood control emergency response system, with level I being the most severe.

Wang Xu, an official with the provincial emergency management department, told AP the department "dispatched a large number of rescuers, large machinery such as excavators, drones and bulldozers, and communication support devices to help the affected areas promptly deal with emergencies".

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Meteorologists have blamed the extreme downpours on global warming, noting that weather events have become more unpredictable.

Qingyuan resident Lin Xiuzheng, an online retail sales worker, told Reuters that before 2022 the flood-waters were never as high as they have been in recent years.

Guandong province was also hit with severe flooding two years ago.