Floods and landslides killed 30 people in a central China province, with the rain-swollen Yangtze River that cuts through the province at dangerously high levels, a government Web site and state media said Tuesday.

The flooding in Hubei province also left nine people missing, destroyed 53,400 homes and caused almost 800 million yuan (about US$100 million; โ‚ฌ74 million) in losses, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The heavy rain that triggered the floods started Thursday and had stopped by Tuesday.

But the Yangtze, which runs through Hubei, and other major rivers are at dangerously high levels, and more rainfall could lead to flooding, according to the Web site of the national Office of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

The Three Gorges dam, the world's largest hydroelectric project, blocks the Yangtze in Hubei and was designed to control flooding.

However, Huangang, a major city in Hubei along the Yangtze, was affected by flooding, according to the Department of Civil Affairs Web site.

Deadly flooding is a perennial problem in China, with floods this year killing 233 people, destroying 118,500 homes and affecting over 42 million people, according to the national flood control office.

Millions of people in central and southern China live on flood-prone reclaimed farmland in the flood plains of rivers.

Flooding and typhoons killed 2,704 people last year, according to the China Meteorological Administration. That was the second-deadliest year on record after 1998, when summer flooding claimed 4,150 lives.

Big cities are sheltered by giant dikes but many fatalities occur in farm communities that lack protection from rising rivers, and in mountain towns that are hit by flash floods.