Heavy rain triggers floods in China

Beijing -

Sixteen people were killed in rain and hailstorms that triggered flooding and landslides in southern China, officials said Monday.

Floodlights illuminate Hong Kong Stadium at noon during a heavy rain storm during the Sevens rugby tournament this weekend. Picture: Philippe Lopez. Credit: AFP

The severe weather, which began last Friday, has affected seven provinces and municipalities, China's ministry of civil affairs said in a statement. Sixteen people were dead and two others were missing.

The storms are the first round of heavy rainfall this spring, the ministry said.

In Guangdong province, one of the hardest-hit areas, flights at major airports ground to a halt and classes in some cities were suspended on Monday.

Rescuers in neighbouring Guangxi province have been searching since Sunday for a mine worker who was buried in a landslide, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The deluge was so severe in Hong Kong on Sunday that hailstones smashed the windows of a shopping mall in the Kowloon Tong district.

Television footage showed umbrella-carrying shoppers wading through the drenched mall.

Of the 16 dead in mainland China, seven were from Guangdong province, which neighbours Hong Kong. - Sapa-AFP