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Between 10cm and 50cm of rain has fallen in seven provinces, and storms stretching 1,600km (1,000 miles) are sweeping across central and southern China.
At least 45 people are missing and 33 million are affected, officials say.
The rain has also washed away railway lines and shut down road networks.
The dead included 23 people who were killed in a mudslide in Guizhou Province and eight who died in the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province when a section of a wall collapsed, state media said.
Heavy rain is forecast to continue until Wednesday across parts of southern and western China, the South China Morning Post reported.