China floods: At least 75 dead or missing

Flood waters tear through a village on July 19, 2016 at Linzhou, Henan Province, China. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Henan was one of many provinces across northern China that was submerged by floods

At least 75 people in northern China have died or gone missing since Monday in some of the worst floods the country has seen in years, says the Civil Affairs Ministry.

Heavy rains across usually dry regions like Beijing forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

Hundreds of flights and trains were also cancelled after the capital was hit by persistent rain.

The first half of the year has seen 576 people recorded as dead or missing.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Tens of thousands have been evacuated from flood-hit areas in China
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The floods have also resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of direct economic losses
Image copyright AFP
Image caption 576 people have been recorded as dead or missing nationwide in the first half of the year

Authorities have mobilised troops and heavy equipment across China as the rain threatened embankments along rivers in the country's central region.

President Xi Jinping warned the country to be prepared for more hardship to come, adding that officials found negligent in their duties would be severely punished.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Beijing's steamy summer months are often marked by dramatic rainstorms
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Pedestrians are assaulted by strong winds as well as rains
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Beijing city government has issued an orange alert, the second highest in China's four-tier warning system, over the rain

Emergency measures, such as discharging water from the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze, have already been taken by authorities.

The Beijing city government issued an orange alert on Wednesday, the second highest alert in the country.

Water levels in some of China's major rivers have exceeded the floods of 1998, which saw 4,150 people killed, most of them along the Yangtze River.

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