Every year the “Plum Rains” of May, June and July bring flooding and landslides to southern China.
The flooding regularly comes from swelling rivers but, often, locally intense thunderstorms cause flash floods and landslides.
There has been a recent resurgence of these monsoon rains in the southern provinces of Guizhou, Guangxi, Jiangxi, Guangdong and Fujian.
China’s Xinhua News Agency reported that the rains in southern Guangdong province have displaced more than 8,000 people.
Floods in Guizhou province left 29,000 people isolated following massive thunderstorms in the area. As much as 134 millimetres of rain fell in a short period on Friday, sending flood waters tearing through the villages of Jiuchao and Maogong, sweeping three people away.
Most recently, Liuzhou city in in Guangxi province has seen the Liujiang River burst its banks with dramatic force. At least 150mm of rain was recorded in a 24-hour period but 130mm of that fell in less than three hours, causing a surge of water that swept away or overturned vehicles.
According to Chinese state media, persistent rains since Saturday have caused material losses of $7.8m.
The Plum Rains, from the Meiyu monsoon front, will soon move north and swell the Yangtse River. Progress of this annual event is not smooth. There are always pulses of heavy rain, so the risk of further floods remains throughout southern China.