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.