Torrential rain has battered major regions in central China with roads submerged, vehicles overturned and properties destroyed. In Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan on the banks of the Yellow River, more than 200mm (7.8 inches) of rain fell in just one hour on Tuesday afternoon.
Experts say it is the largest amount of rainfall since records began more than 60 years ago.
The terrifying weather conditions have forced more than 10,000 people to evacuate the area.
It comes as authorities warn water levels at 16 reservoirs have reached dangerous levels.
Pictures show many people wearing ponchos and carrying umbrellas as they desperately wade through the floods – with water levels up to waist-level for most.
In one shocking video, several cars are dragged by the current into a nearby river.
Free-flowing murky water has also gushed through a nearby underground subway system.
Most transport networks and more than 200 flights have been cancelled across the province due to the adverse weather.
Heavy downpours began in Zhengzhou on Monday and local media are reporting at least three people have died with many more missing – however those figures are expected to increase.
Across the wider Henan province, major river banks burst as storms persisted since the weekend.
From Saturday, 3,535 weather stations across Henan recorded rainfall had exceed 50mm.
Of those, 1,614 registered weather outlets recorded water levels above 100mm and 151 others said water levels had gone above 250mm in some parts.
Flooding is common during the rainy season, but has become more severe in recent years.
Environmental group Greenpeace has attributed the upturn in extreme weather conditions to the growing population in urban areas and rising greenhouse gases.
Liu Junyan, of Greenpeace International, said: “Because of the highly concentrated population, infrastructure and economic activity, the exposure and vulnerability of climate hazards are higher in urban areas.
“Cities are an important sector of global greenhouse gas emissions, which account for about 70 percent of the total emissions.”