BEIJING (AFP) - Tens of thousands of victims of China's earthquake were evacuated Monday as torrential rain lashed the region, triggering flood warnings on major rivers including the Yangtze and the Pearl. Heavy downpours have battered large parts of eastern and southern China, leaving at least 65 dead or missing, and adding to the misery in the quake-ravaged southwestern province of Sichuan. Up to 70,000 people in Wenchuan county at the epicentre of the May 12 earthquake were being moved due to the risk of rock and mudslides brought on with the onset of the rainy season in Sichuan, the Beijing News said. "Wenchuan has already entered the rainy season and the rain will weaken even more the already brittle mountain sides, making the situation even worse," the paper said. Xinhua news agency put the number of evacuees at about 50,000 people living in mountainous villages around Wenchuan county seat who would be moved to camps already housing tens of thousands of other quake victims. Last month's magnitude-8.0 earthquake has left up to 87,000 dead or missing and up to five million homeless in Sichuan. Wenchuan was flattened during the quake with early rescue and relief efforts mostly flown in due to impassable roads in the mountainous area. According to local weather reports, the Wenchuan area was expecting thunder storms for the next three days. Local officials contacted by AFP were unavailable to comment on the thousands of people being evacuated due to phone lines damaged in the area. In China as a whole, heavy rains have left at least 57 people dead and eight missing across nine provinces over the past 10 days, the government said. More than 1.27 million people have been evacuated in the hardest-hit areas, with large swathes of farmland submerged and economic losses already totalling more than 10 billion yuan (1.4 billion dollars), it said. Rising waters on China's major rivers prompted the government to issue emergency orders on Sunday as the affected provinces and regions scrambled to prepare for more torrential rains. "We must fully deploy flood prevention and control work on the Yangtze and Pearl rivers," E Jingping, head of the state's flood prevention headquarters, said in an emergency order posted on its website. Waters on a Yangtze river tributary in central China's Henan province were up to 4.7 metres over warning levels, E said in transcripts of the meeting posted on the headquarters website Monday. The situation on the Pearl river in southern China's Guangdong and Guangxi provinces was the most pressing with water levels at a 20-year high, he added. On the Xijiang river, a tributary of the Pearl, in Guangxi water levels had surpassed warning levels by 6.8 metres, he said. State television showed footage of the swollen Xijiang in the city of Wuzhou that sits at the confluence of three rivers and where up to 10,000 people were being evacuated as each of the rivers crested. In prosperous Guangdong province, another 100,000 people have been evacuated around the city of Changle due to rising waters on the Pearl river. The rising waters left downtown streets inundated in both the provincial capital of Guangzhou and the booming city of Shenzhen, snarling traffic and submerging shops and homes. In neighboring Guangxi province, water levels reached the rooftops in many villages in the Liuzhou area, while major provincial roads were flooded stranding thousands of transport vehicles, local reports said. Almost 18 million people had been affected by flooding while more than 141,000 homes had been wrecked or damaged, the government said. Rains were expected to continue to pound southern China in the coming days, with rising river levels threatening towns in Jiangxi, Guangxi and Guangdong provinces, the state meteorological bureau said. Seasonal flooding annually strikes southern and eastern China, with the worst weather coming in the summer months. According to the civil affairs ministry, flooding in China this year has taken the lives of 169 people and left 52 others missing.