Twenty-three people have been killed as rainstorms battered China over the past week, destroying more than 5,200 homes and forcing the evacuation of nearly 34,000 people, authorities said Monday.

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A woman holds an umbrella in the rain as she walks outside Beijing railway station in Beijing on October 9, 2017. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP.

Heavy rainfall since October 1 has caused widespread damage in southwestern Sichuan province and Chongqing municipality, the central provinces of Anhui, Henan and Hubei and in northwest Shaanxi province, the ministry of civil affairs said.

Direct economic losses from storm damage across the country were estimated at 3.26 billion yuan (US$490.3 million) by the ministry.

State broadcaster CCTV reported large trees had been toppled by the strong winds.

The latest destruction follows a deadly summer for flooding and landslides across much of China.

In June and August massive landslides in the southwestern province of Sichuan killed more than 30 and left scores missing.

In July, more than 60 people were killed by landslides and floods in the central province of Hunan. Some 1.6 million people were forced from their homes.

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