One of China's most renowned ancient towns, boasting stunning Qing and Ming dynasty architecture dating back hundreds of years, is under water.

floods china
The ancient town of Fenghuang is partially submerged by floodwater as a river overflows in Hunan province, ChinaReuters

The old town of Fenghuang nestles on the banks of the winding Tuojiang river in a picturesque, mountainous part of Hunan province.

Torrential rain has caused the river to rise more than a metre above its previous highest recorded level, and several bridges have been damaged or destroyed.

More than 120,000 tourists and locals have been evacuated from Fenghuang and the surrounding county.

The ancient town, which has applied for Unesco world heritage status, can attract up to 30,000 visitors a day.

floods china
Workers clean up debris from a flooded street in the ancient town of FenghuangReuters
floods china
Buildings in the ancient town of Fenghuang are submerged in flood waterGetty
floods china
A street lamp is seen in the overflowing riverReuters
floods china
Rescue workers search for people on a flooded streetReuters
floods china
Rescuers evacuate residents carrying their possessions through the flooded streetsGetty
floods china
Rescuers use a boat to evacuate residents from flooded homesGetty
floods china
People clear debris on a flooded street in FenghuangReuters