Heavy rain pounded the central province of Henan yesterday, bursting the banks of major rivers, flooding a dozen cities and shutting the Shaolin Temple.
Henan, double the size of Austria, has been hit by storms since the weekend in an unusually wild rainy season.
No deaths or casualties have been reported, but the daily lives of Henan's 94 million people have been upended by transport closures.
In the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, by the banks of the Yellow River, residents waded along submerged streets. And in Ruzhou, a city southwest of Zhengzhou, streets were torrents, sweeping away vehicles.
A rising Yi River also threatened the Longmen Grottoes, a Unesco World Heritage site with ancient Buddhist statues etched into limestone cliffs near Luoyang city.
Like the grottoes, Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng city was shut.
Also in Dengfeng yesterday, an aluminium alloy plant exploded as water from a river surged into the factory.
And many big reservoirs in the province exceeded warning levels.
From Saturday to Tuesday, 3,535 weather stations in Henan saw rainfall exceed 50 milimeters. The highest was in Lushan city, with 498 mm.