Persistent heavy rains that began in the first week of June have swamped central and southern parts of China.
The state weather bureau has forecast continued downpours over the next three days, and the summer typhoon season hasn't yet hit its peak.
Correspondent: Nasya Bahfen
Guests: Qinghui Gu, regional disaster management coordinator for the International Red Cross in Beijing; villager from Zhejiang province; Mr. Shou, secretary of Jiangfeng village in Zhejiang province
BAHFEN: The rain comes every year. Torrential downpours across large swathes of China in 2010 triggered the country's worst flooding in a decade. Last year's death toll? More than 4,300 people.
Qinghui Gu is the regional disaster management coordinator for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. He spoke to me from Beijing.
GU: It's kind of seasonal with the floods you kow, related in a particular part of southern China, for the mountain areas where they are also affected by the landslides. The casualties many of them caused by the landslides damaging the village houses.
BAHFEN: The Chinese Water Resources Minister Chen Lei believes that in the affected parts of southern China, several rivers are threatening to burst their banks. One already has in Zhejiang-one of the worst affected provinces. China's state broadcaster CCTV showed footage of homes submerged in water, and residents paddling on small boats, through streets which had become creeks. Mr. Shou, secretary of Jiangfeng village, warned the water level would rise further.
SHOU: (two seconds of Mandarin, then) I have informed everyone that the water level will soon rise and I have told them to be vigilant. One reservoir will spill water as its water level exceeds the alert level.
BAHFEN: Chinese media is reporting that more than one million people in eight provinces, regions and municipalities have been evacuated from their homes. This villager from Zhejiang province was worried about the damage to her vineyards.
WOMAN: (one second of Mandarin then) For my family, the loss of the grape crop could reach at least 30,000 yuan or 40,000 yuan. My family's losses are less than those of others. Their losses may have reached more than 100,000 yuan. We have to get away with the grape growing this year. As for replanting grapes, we will have to wait another three years before getting any income.
BAHFEN: Chinese authorities say more than one hundred and sixty people are dead or missing, and so far a staggering nine million people have somehow been affected through loss of property or livestock. The damage to Zhejiang province alone has been estimated at more than 7.6 billion yuan, or 1 point 2 billion dollars. Yet, this isn't even the worst of it. Qinghui Gu from the International Red Cross in Beijing says right now the rising waters are still in the early stages, and that July and August are southern China's flood peak season.
GU: Yes by Chinese standards, it's quite, you know, millions of people being affected in southern parts of China by the flooding due to the heavy rains. Thousands of families' houses have collapsed and millions of the population have been evacuated from their homes.
BAHFEN: He says aid agencies are focusing on the necessities right now, for the millions of people affected.
GU: At this stage because thousands of families have been evacuated, most people need temporary shelters. Lots of the families have basically lost their house because they were evacuated without anything so they need food and basic supplies and also clean drinking water.