Flooding death toll rises to 175, with 107 more missing in southern China

BEIJING (AP) — Widespread flooding in southern China has caused 175 deaths, with 107 more people missing and more storms expected, the government said Monday.

Thousands of houses have been destroyed and economic losses have topped 14 billion yuan ($2.05 billion), according to the Ministry of Water Resources. The toll was up from 132 on Sunday.

Flooding has affected more than 10 million residents since torrential rains began June 13, said a report posted on the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters website. The number included people injured, stranded or who had suffered property damage.

The report called on emergency response teams to step up evacuation efforts of those still stranded in their homes.

More thunderstorms were forecast through Tuesday morning, the China Meteorological Administration said.

China sustains major flooding annually along the mighty Yangtze and other major rivers, but this year's floods have been especially heavy, spreading across nine provinces and regions in the south and along the eastern coast.

The flooding follows the worst drought in a century for the southern provinces and regions of Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi. It left millions without drinking water and destroyed more than 12 million acres (5 million hectares) of crops.