More than 40,000 affected by rainstorms in China

A total of 14 counties and townships in western Hubei Province have been hit by downpours, said the provincial flood control and drought relief office."

The rain triggered landslides and floods in Xingshan County in the city of Yichang, where one person was killed when a house collapsed while another person is missing.

The disasters also toppled 294 houses, damaged 15.5 km of roads, and caused direct economic losses of 59 million yuan (USD 9.22 million).

More than 200 passengers stranded on damaged roads since yesterday in the county's Gaoqiao Township have been shifted to safe places and offered free food and accommodation, according to the Yichang municipal flood control officials.

Xingshan County's town of Nanyang experienced a blackout today after 31 power poles and 10 km of power lines were damaged by storms.

Power supply resumed following repairs, Xinhua quoted officials as saying.

Despite the damage, the rain has brought much needed relief in some drought-stricken parts of southern China.

The National Meteorological Center said that heavy rains will sweep the country's southern and southwestern areas over the next three days.

Meteorologists warned people to beware of lightning strikes and rain-triggered disasters.

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