More than 140 people are either dead or missing due to severe floods in several Chinese regions that have affected nearly 38 million people, authorities in Beijing said on Sunday.
"As of July 12, 37.9 million people have been affected as a result of floods in 27 regions, including the provinces of Jiangxi, Anhui, Hubei, and Hunan. 141 people are either dead or missing, and 2.25 million people have been evacuated," a statement by the country''s State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters read.
Earlier in the day, the headquarters raised the country's flood response level from level III to level II, the second highest level. Many rivers, including the Yangtze, have swelled following weeks of torrential rain.
The flooding has destroyed more than 28,000 buildings and the cost of the damage has been estimated at 82.2 billion yuan ($11.7 billion).
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on the country's citizens to take all necessary precautions to ensure their safety.