Heavy rain pounded the central Chinese province of Henan on Tuesday, bursting the banks of major rivers, flooding the streets of a dozen cities and shutting the world-famous Shaolin Temple.
Henan, a populous province double the size of Austria, has been hit by storms since the weekend in an unusually active rainy season.
In Henan, a major logistics hub, train services were suspended, while many highways were closed and flights delayed or cancelled.
In the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, by the banks of the Yellow River, residents waded through knee-high water to cross submerged street intersections, state television showed.
In Ruzhou, a city southwest of Zhengzhou, streets have been turned into torrents, sweeping away cars and other vehicles, footage on social media showed.
A rising Yi River also threatened to hit the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring millennium-old Buddhist statues etched into limestone cliffs near the city of Luoyang.
Like the Longmen Grottoes, the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng city, famous in the West for its martial arts, has been temporarily shut.
At least 31 large and medium-sized reservoirs in the province have exceeded their warning levels.
From Saturday to Tuesday, 3,535 weather stations in Henan saw rainfall exceed 50 mm, of which 1,614 registered levels above 100 mm and 151 above 250 mm.
The highest was in Lushan city, which saw 498 mm of rain, according to the provincial weather bureau.
“This is the heaviest rain since I was born, with so many familiar places flooded,” said an internet user in the inundated city of Gongyi on Chinese social media.
Rain is forecast to stop by Thursday.