Flooding and landslides caused by heavy rain have killed 53 people in China's southwestern Guangxi region since late May, including three children swept away as they walked home from school, state media reported on Monday.
The death toll was announced after rescuers found nearly 20 bodies in the aftermath of torrential rains between May 31 and June 2, the local flood control office said.
The three dead children, missing since finishing school on June 1, were aged between 8 and 11. Their parents had left to work in cities, so they were walking unaccompanied to their grandparents' home, Reuters informs.
Meteorologists are expecting more heavy rain in the region through Thursday.
China 's rainy season, which began last month, follows the worst drought in a century for southern China's Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi regions. It left millions without drinking water and 12 million acres (about 5 million hectares) barren since last year, The Associated Press reports.