At least 20 people died and 16 others were reported missing in floods across Zhejiang province. The rain, which began last Sunday, was most severe in counties around Hangzhou, China Daily said yesterday. It said 3.28 centimetres of rain fell on nearby Lin'an county in a 24-hour period. Heavy rains also hit central Jiangxi province, causing the water level of the Yangtze River to rise to 4.7 metres above the danger level, Xinhua (the New China News Agency) said. Vice-secretary of the Hangzhou city commission said more rain was expected later in the week. There would be torrential rain on Friday, he said. 'The waters come suddenly and rise to a high level in a very short time,' said an official of the Propaganda Department of Zhejiang. According to the New China News Service, the downpour claimed 20 lives and 16 people were missing. Some 2.71 million people had been affected, about 5,000 houses destroyed and more than 221,444 hectares of farmland flooded, the agency said. The estimated damages were 1.5 billion yuan (HK$1.39 billion). The rain disrupted traffic on several highways and the main railway line from Hangzhou to Xuanzhou in neighbouring Anhui province, Xinhua reported. In Jiangxi province rising waters flooded 16,000 hectares of farmland and disrupted traffic on the national highway and the main Anhui-Jiangxi railway. No deaths were reported in Jiangxi, but Xinhua said many factories, stores, schools and homes in Jingdezhen were flooded. Power and water supplies to the city were temporarily interrupted, the report said.