photo by Globovisión (Flickr Creative Commons)

On Saturday heavy rains fell on Gansu province in northern China, resulting in landslides which buried at least three villages.

The death toll from the mudslides has now reached 702, according to Chinese officials, with more than 1,000 people still missing.

China has been experiencing its most severe flooding in a decade – and more rain is forecast for later in the week.

Rescue efforts are at their most intense in Zhouqu county, the area worst hit by the floods.

From an AFP report:

More than 7,000 soldiers and rescuers were hunting around-the-clock for survivors in Zhouqu, the county seat, where homes were torn apart and streets buried in mud as deep as two metres (six feet) in spots.

The mudslide pushed earth, streets, houses and cars into the Bailong River in Zhouqu, blocking its flow and causing flooding. A 5 km (3 mile) long and 500 meter-wide area was flattened and half the county submerged.

Meanwhile in Pakistan, some 1,500 people have died during two weeks of the South Asian country’s worst flooding ever.

From report by the Associated Press:

The United Nations said the government’s estimate of 13.8 million people affected by the country’s worst-ever floods exceeded the combined total of three recent megadisasters — the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Besides China and Pakistan, areas in India and North Korea have also experienced death and destruction due to the floods.