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Flooding in China leaves more than 100 people dead or missing

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Heavy rains have left vast areas near the Yangtze river underwater with a typhoon due to hit by the end of the week

Flooding in the Yangtze river basin in China has left 112 people dead or missing in recent days, with more damage feared from a typhoon expected to land within days.

About 16 million people have been affected by heavy rains that have engulfed vast areas near the Yangtze, Chinas longest river, the Beijing News cited the civil affairs ministry as saying.

Water levels in Lake Taihu, close to Shanghai, are at their highest since 1954, it said, adding the area faced a serious risk of flooding if a typhoon hit nearby on Friday.

Pictures of a farmer in eastern China breaking down in tears as waters mounted around his 6,000 pigs were posted by state media.

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People reinforce a dyke in Hefeng township in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province. Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft Images

Other images showed a sports stadium in the central province of Hubei turned into a giant bathtub by the rainfall.

Flooding is common during the summer monsoon season in southern China, but rainfall has been particularly heavy this year and many areas have been lashed by torrential rains this week.

Rain is expected to move north this week towards the Huai river, the Beijing News added.

Chinas vice-premier, Wang Yang, warned last month that a strong El Nio effect this year would increase the risk of floods in the Yangtze and Huai river basins.

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A house almost submerged in flood waters caused by heavy rain in Xuancheng city, Jiangsu province. Photograph: Imaginechina/Rex/Shutterstock

An El Nio effect was linked to Chinas worst floods of recent years when more than 4,000 people died in 1998, mostly around the Yangtze.

The Beijing News quoted a meteorologist as saying rain patterns this year were more disparate than in 1998, diminishing the risk of a similar toll.

Chinas national observatory issued an orange alert for storms across the countrys south and east last week the second highest warning in a four-tiered system.

Whole villages were levelled and at least 98 killed in the eastern province of Jiangsu last month after the region was hit by a storm with hurricane-force winds and the worst tornado in half a century.

Floods also hit south Asia this week, with 33 killed in Pakistan and 25 dead in India after unusually heavy rains.

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