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Flooding in south China kills 19, destroys homes

Sunday - 5/25/2014, 5:24am  ET

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency taken on Thursday, May 22, 2014, roads and buildings are flooded after a rainstorm in Qigong Township in Yangshan County in Qingyuan City, south China's Guangdong Province. The Chinese state news agency is reporting 12 people have died in widespread flooding in southern China. Xinhua News Agency said the flooding affected 649,000 people in Qingyuan city in Guangdong province as of Saturday afternoon, May 24, 2014, with 3,300 houses collapsing. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Zuomiao) NO SALES

BEIJING (AP) -- At least 19 people have died and seven were reporting missing Sunday in widespread flooding that's hit hundreds of thousands of people in a swath of southern China, the country's state news agency reported.

Historic-level rains lashed the cities of Guangzhou, Zhaoqing and Qingyuan and triggered floods, mudslides and the collapse of 1,143 houses, according to the Xinhua News Agency. About 21,000 people have been evacuated in the region, while in the city of Pingxiang, 5,000 remained trapped by floodwaters at noon Sunday.

Heavy rains have battered the region since last week, with 628 millimeters (25 inches) accumulating in the city of Shanwei in Guangdong province since Wednesday. About 200 millimeters (8 inches) of rain were recorded over a 24-hour period this weekend in Liuyang city in Hunan province.

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