A flooded river in eastern China is at its highest level in more than 50 years, the government said Friday as thousands of train passengers were stranded after landslides buried parts of a railway line in the southwest.

Flooding in China over the past two weeks has left more than 170 people dead or missing and forced out residents in regions along the Yangtze River. Since Monday, about 671,200 people have had to evacuate their homes, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

The landslides and mudslides have toppled homes, and the torrential rains that caused them are forecast to last through the weekend.

Landslides crushed parts of a railway line in southwestern China, stranding 5,000 passengers on four trains overnight and affecting train service, local railway authorities said Friday.

Over 2,000 rescuers with 10 excavators rushed to clear the Chengdu-Kunming railway, which links the provincial capitals of Sichuan and Yunnan, the Chengdu Railway Bureau said in a statement, according to Xinhua.

The bureau has sent food and water to the trapped passengers, and buses to evacuate them, the statement said.

In eastern Zhejiang, the province's main river is at its highest level since 1955, China's flood control agency said. The Qiantang River was 7.9 feet (2.4 meters) above safety levels, it said.

Elsewhere in the coastal province, a dike breached and flooded 18 villages while landslides toppled about 2,500 houses and flooded 350 roads, Xinhua said.