At least two people have died after torrential downpours hit southern China. Over 54,000 residents had to be evacuated from their homes after the floods caused widespread flooding according to China's official Xinhua News Agency.

The heavy rains started to batter Hunan last Thursday. According to officials, there was major disruption to traffic, power, telecommunications as water levels rose in major rivers and reservoirs.

One villager in Jinwutang Township was killed in a landslide. Another person died in the neighbouring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region where 128,600 have also been affected.

Amongst the worst hit places were Lantau Island, Lamma, Cheung Chau and the New Territories which saw over 300mm of rain in a 24 hour spell. There were 3,436 lightning strikes in just 13 hours on Sunday in the Hong Kong area.

Torrential rains also hit Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong Province with the city experiencing its worst flooding in six years. They recorded around 80 percent of their May average rainfall on Sunday with 193mm falling in just 24 hours.

Hong Kong saw 115mm of rain in the same period. This was enough to cripple the intercity railway link to Guangzhou for a time. There were also a number of flight cancellations.

It may be some time before the flood waters subside here. Further heavy downpours are expected across southern China for much of this week. Some parts could see a further 200mm or more over the next few days.

Source: Al Jazeera