Nearly half a million people have been evacuated from a potentially deadly flood zone surrounding central China's swollen Huai River, state media reported today.
Continuous rain since June has caused the river to rise to dangerous levels.
The official Xinhua News Agency said the region was bracing for the worst flooding in decades.
In another flood-hit part of China, residents were battling an invasion of field mice driven from their holes by rising waters.
Xinhua said that 488,800 people had been evacuated from the central provinces of Anhui, Henan and Jiangsu, and that several cities and railway lines were in danger of being inundated.
The Huai had been diverted into other rivers and designated low-lying fields to try slowing its rise.
Nationwide flooding and rainfall-triggered landslides have killed at least 360 people so far this summer, mainly in the south-western province of Sichuan, and have caused billions of euros in losses.