Heavy rain lashed 16 counties and cities, inundated farmlands, damaged houses, forced the evacuation of 1,079 residents and caused direct economic losses estimated at $7.16 million, Xinhua news agency reported.

The local civil affairs department is investigating the damage and sending relief goods to the affected areas.

Rain hit most parts of China's central, eastern and southern regions over the weekend. China Central Meteorological Station Monday morning maintained rainstorm alerts for a third consecutive day in Guangdong, Guizhou, Hebei, Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces.

Typhoon Merbok, the second typhoon of the year, is forecast to hit the southern province of Guangdong on Monday evening, intensifying rainstorms in southern and eastern provinces.