New rains kill 21 more in flood-hit China: Xinhua

Boats are seen carrying residents out of a flooded area under the influence of Typhoon Utor in Shantou, Guangdong province, on Aug 20, 2013. Heavy rains killed 21 construction workers as flooding spread to north-west China, state media said on Wednes
Boats are seen carrying residents out of a flooded area under the influence of Typhoon Utor in Shantou, Guangdong province, on Aug 20, 2013. Heavy rains killed 21 construction workers as flooding spread to north-west China, state media said on Wednesday, after severe weather in other parts of the country left more than 130 dead. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
This picture taken on Aug 19, 2013, shows a damaged car after floods hit the Qingyuan Manchu autonomous county of Fushun, in north-east China's Liaoning province. Heavy rains killed 21 more people as flooding spread to north-west China, state media s
This picture taken on Aug 19, 2013, shows a damaged car after floods hit the Qingyuan Manchu autonomous county of Fushun, in north-east China's Liaoning province. Heavy rains killed 21 more people as flooding spread to north-west China, state media said on Wednesday. Severe weather in other parts of the country left more than 130 dead. -- PHOTO: AFP
This picture taken on Aug 17, 2013, shows local residents cleaning their home flooding hit Ningyuan county of Yongzhou, central China's Hunan province. Heavy rains killed 21 more people as flooding spread to north-west China, state media said on Wedn
This picture taken on Aug 17, 2013, shows local residents cleaning their home flooding hit Ningyuan county of Yongzhou, central China's Hunan province. Heavy rains killed 21 more people as flooding spread to north-west China, state media said on Wednesday. Severe weather in other parts of the country left more than 130 dead. -- PHOTO: AFP
This picture taken on Aug 17, 2013, shows local residents organising their furniture after flooding hit Ningyuan county of Yongzhou, central China's Hunan province. Heavy rains killed 21 more people as flooding spread to north-west China, state media
This picture taken on Aug 17, 2013, shows local residents organising their furniture after flooding hit Ningyuan county of Yongzhou, central China's Hunan province. Heavy rains killed 21 more people as flooding spread to north-west China, state media said on Wednesday. Severe weather in other parts of the country left more than 130 dead. -- PHOTO: AFP
A boat carries residents out of a flooded area under the influence of Typhoon Utor in Shantou, Guangdong province, on Aug 20, 2013. Heavy rains killed 21 more people as flooding spread to north-west China, state media said on Wednesday. Severe weathe
A boat carries residents out of a flooded area under the influence of Typhoon Utor in Shantou, Guangdong province, on Aug 20, 2013. Heavy rains killed 21 more people as flooding spread to north-west China, state media said on Wednesday. Severe weather in other parts of the country left more than 130 dead.  -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A man swims in a flooded street under the influence of Typhoon Utor in Shantou, Guangdong province, on Aug 20, 2013. Heavy rains killed 21 more people as flooding spread to north-west China, state media said on Wednesday. Severe weather in other part
A man swims in a flooded street under the influence of Typhoon Utor in Shantou, Guangdong province, on Aug 20, 2013. Heavy rains killed 21 more people as flooding spread to north-west China, state media said on Wednesday. Severe weather in other parts of the country left more than 130 dead. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A truck is seen submerged on a flooded street under the influence of Typhoon Utor in Shantou, Guangdong province, on Aug 20, 2013. Heavy rains killed 21 more people as flooding spread to north-west China, state media said on Wednesday. Severe weather
A truck is seen submerged on a flooded street under the influence of Typhoon Utor in Shantou, Guangdong province, on Aug 20, 2013. Heavy rains killed 21 more people as flooding spread to north-west China, state media said on Wednesday. Severe weather in other parts of the country left more than 130 dead. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - Heavy rains killed 21 construction workers as flooding spread to north-west China, state media said on Wednesday, after severe weather in other parts of the country left more than 130 dead.

Sudden rainstorms and hail battered Haixi in Qinghai province, "washing away" the workers on Tuesday evening, the official Xinhua news agency said.

"The workers were repairing a construction site at the time when the tragedy happened," it added.

A search for three missing people was under way.

Meanwhile, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called for "persistent efforts" to save victims from what Xinhua described as "the worst floods in decades" in north-east China.

Authorities said 85 people in the region were confirmed dead, 105 missing, and some 3.74 million people had been affected by the severe weather.

The worst-affected province was Liaoning, where Xinhua quoted Guo Shouying, 54, as saying: "Floodwater gushed out of the embankments and my mother was swept away.

"The neighbours heard her desperate calls for help, but the flood was so huge that no one dared to swim into the water to rescue her."

Her mother's body was found 100m from her home in Xinbin the next day.

"One hand pressed her nose and her mouth was wide open, she was probably choked by water," said Ms Guo tearfully.

Another 49 people have perished in Hunan, central China, and in the southern provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi, the ministry of civil affairs announced.

Nearly 3,000 military personnel were mobilised to help with the relief efforts, Xinhua reported earlier.