Severe flooding across central and southern China over the past week has killed almost 130 people, damaged more than 1.9 million hectares of crops and led to direct economic losses of more than 38 billion yuan (Rs 38,457 crore), state media said on Tuesday.

Source: b'Residents walk at a flooded area in Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province / Source: Reuters'

Premier Li Keqiang traveled on Tuesday to Anhui, one of the hardest-hit provinces, where he met residents and encouraged officials to do everything they could to protect lives and livelihoods. Li was also to visit Hunan province.

More than 1.3 million people have been forced out of their homes and more than 40,000 buildings have also collapsed.

Weather forecasts predicted more downpours during what is traditionally China's flood season.

Source: b'Residential buildings are flooded after heavy rainfall in Hengyang, Hunan Province /Source: Reuters'

It was not clear how that would affect the summer grain harvest, which was expected to reach 140 million tonnes this year. The stormy weather also took a toll on farm animals.

In Anhui, the flooding killed some 7,100 hogs, 215 bulls and 5.14 million fowl, the China News Service reported.

Source: b'A flooded farm, where pigs cannot be moved away from due to the flood /Source: Reuters'

In the southern province of Hunan, torrential rain and flooding had forced more than 100 trains to stop or take detours since midnight on Sunday, Xinhua reported.

In one city, about 3 tonnes of gasoline and diesel leaked from a petrol station on Monday, contaminating floodwater that flowed into a river, it said.

Water in 43 rivers in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River had exceeded warning levels and patrols were monitoring dykes, Xinhua quoted Chen Guiya, an official with the Yangtze River Water Resources Commission, as saying.

(Feature Image Source: Reuters)