Rescuers carry out rescue operations in Shangshan village of Licun township, Fengcheng city, East China's Jiangxi province, May 6, 2023.
© XinhuaRescuers carry out rescue operations in Shangshan village of Licun township, Fengcheng city, East China's Jiangxi province, May 6, 2023.
Nearly 500,000 people in Jiangxi have been affected as heavy rains lashed the province from Friday through Sunday, and about 14,000 of them have been evacuated, the provincial flood and drought control headquarters said on Sunday.

Southern China is facing a major flood challenge this year due to uneven distribution of rainfall.

As of 4 pm on Sunday, 497,000 people in seven cities in Jiangxi, including Fuzhou, Ji'an, Yichun and Xinyu, were affected and crops covering an area of 67,700 hectares damaged, with the estimated direct economic losses being around 520 million yuan ($75.2 million), local authorities said.

According to the National Meteorological Center, most areas to the south of the Yangtze River were expected to receive heavy rain on Monday, and the monthly precipitation was expected to approach or exceed the maximum rainfall ever recorded in May.

Since the end of March, the flood threat had not been serious in China's southern region. However, since Friday, the situation took a turn for the worse with downpours and floods wreaking havoc across southern parts of the country, according to the Ministry of Water Resources.

Some provinces in southern China are among the hardest hit, with 406 millimeters of rainfall being recorded in Fuzhou, Jiangxi and 313 mm in Nanping, Fujian province, between Friday and Sunday.

Since the end of March, 50 rivers in six provinces have breached their danger marks. Flooding this year has been particularly severe, with the average rainfall nationwide having increased by 6 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Water Resources.

In Fuzhou, heavy rains have caused inundation of both urban areas and farmlands, prompting local authorities to mobilize emergency response teams.

A resident of Fuzhou's Jijiang village told China Youth Daily that the first floor of her two-story house was inundated."My television and refrigerator are underwater. I have never seen such heavy rainfall," she said.

A breach in the Qingfeng dike, located in Yichun, Jiangxi, was plugged around 6 pm on Sunday. The breach, which happened on Saturday, was between two piers and about 300 people in the vicinity had to be evacuated.

A rescue team comprising more than 1,000 personnel was quickly assembled to carry out emergency response measures after the dike breach, local authorities said.

Disaster response officials are taking preventive steps in other areas. Vulnerable spots are being identified and people living nearby alerted, according to the ministry.

Four officials from Xinluo district in Longyan, Fujian, who were inspecting the water level of the Longchuan River around 1:40 am on Sunday were missing after flash floods caused a bridge to collapse, China Central Television reported.

The bridge was built in 1983.Three of the missing officials work for the street office, while one is a village official. The youngest among them is 25 years old.