STORY: China's Guangdong province faces severe floods.

Rescuers on boats rushed to evacuate residents on Monday, carrying some elderly people on their backs.

Helicopters were deployed to save villagers who were caught in landslides.

Ling Ziuzhen lives in Qingyuan city:

"Since two years ago, the rainfall started to get relatively heavy, and this year. In the past, the floods rarely rose to this point. At least the floods got drained."

Situated in the densely populated Pearl River Delta - the province once coined the "factory floor of the word" - Guangdong is prone to summer floods, and has previously put in place strong defenses to limit the effects.

But since Thursday the region has been battered by record-breaking rainfall, bringing the wet season earlier than expected.

That's raising concern that flood defenses are becoming inadequate as global warming makes weather events more unpredictable, and more extreme.

No fatalities have yet been reported, but a number of people are missing.

On Sunday, domestic flights arriving in Guangzhou were briefly canceled and international ones delayed. Some foreign carriers flying to other Chinese destinations took big detours to avoid the area.

Just in Guangxi, a region west of Guangdong, nearly a hundred thousand people have been affected by the rain, with direct economic losses totalling nearly 285 million yuan - or almost $40 million.