At least 181 people have lost their lives in central and eastern China following a week of non-stop torrential downpours. Swollen rivers broke through dams and flooded cities and villages across a large swathe of the country. The city of Wuhan, which has eight million residents and sits on the Yangtze river, had a record weekly rainfall of 574mm (22.6in). This is almost as much rain as London receives in one year (594mm or 23.4in).

Water levels have begun receding, but communities further down the Yangtze river are braced for record surges. Water levels in the lower parts of the Yangtze and in some major lakes in the region have all reached dangerous levels. President Xi Jinping ordered the army and armed police to be dispatched to help in the disaster areas. IBTimes UK presents photos of the flooding in several provinces across a huge area of China.

China floods
An aerial view of the flooded Xinhua Road Sports Centre Stadium in Wuhan, central China's Hubei provinceAFP
China floods
Floodwaters surround farm houses on the outskirts of Changzhou, Jiangsu provinceAFP
China floods
Trees and houses are submerged after a dam burst along the Xiangyang River in Xinji Village in Yangzhou in east China's Jiangsu provinceAFP
China floods
Chinese soldiers and workers try to repair a collapsed dam along the Xiangyang River in Xinji Village in Yangzhou, in east China's Jiangsu provinceAFP
China floods
Aerial view of a flooded area of Nanjing, Jiangsu provinceVCG via Getty Images
China floods
A man tows people sitting in an inflatable boat in Wuhan, Hubei provinceAFP
China floods
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits Wuhan's Yangtze River embankment to inspect flood control and relief workAFP
China floods
A man takes a selfie in the floodwaters in Wuhan, Hubei provinceWang He/Getty Images
China floods
A man transports good through floodwaters in Zongyang county, in east China's Anhui provinceAFP
China floods
A woman carries her daughter through a flooded area in Zongyang county, in east China's Anhui provinceAFP
China floods
A flooded road in a residential area of Nanjing, Jiangsu ProvinceVCG via Getty Images
China floods
The swollen Liujiang River threatens to engulf the city of Liuzhou in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous RegionAFP
China floods
Trees and roads along the Liujiang River in Liuzhou are submergedAFP