EFEBeijing

At least 15 people have died in China floods that have affected 1.7 million people and caused estimated losses worth more than $775 million, authorities said Tuesday.

Three people were missing after heavy rains lashed the central Chinese province of Shanxi, the provincial authorities said.

The region suffered the worst autumn floods in recorded history between Oct. 2 and 7.

The official Xinhua news agency Monday said 120,000 people were evacuated in the province.

According to the weather office, between 8 pm on Oct. 2 and 8 am on Oct.7 as much as 119 millimeters of rain was recorded in the region, a figure three times higher than the average for this period.

In some areas, up to 285 millimeters of rain was recorded.

According to the authorities, flooding was caused due to the overflowing of 37 rivers in the province, which has a population of around 35 million.

Xinhua reported that a dam had broken on Saturday on Fen, a tributary of the Yellow River, in which the water levels have reached their highest mark in nearly 40 years.

The incessant rains also affected highways and national and provincial rail lines, the government said.

A total of 19,500 houses collapsed, and 18,200 suffered "serious damages," said the authorities.

The provincial department of emergencies said that around 190,000 hectares of crops were destroyed.

Incessant rains also affected the neighboring Shaanxi province last week that led to the evacuation of over 50,000 people, Xinhua said.

In early October, the national meteorological department declared that the rains in the northern part of China had set a "historical record" last September.

Earlier this year, heavy rains hit central China, killing more than 300 people in the Henan province, figures released by local authorities showed. EFE

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