Five people died and 15 people are missing after heavy rains triggered floods and landslides in southern China, state media reported Monday.

Torrential downpours have struck parts of densely populated Guangdong province since Sunday, following weeks of extreme weather across China.

"Five people have died, with 15 people missing" in natural disasters near the city of Meizhou on Monday, state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing provincial authorities.

It added that a further 13 people were "trapped" but did not give details of their conditions.

Authorities have sent over 10,000 emergency personnel to the affected areas "to rapidly launch search and rescue work", CCTV reported.

China is in the midst of a summer of extremes, with a heat wave baking much of the north as rains pelt the south.

Scientists say greenhouse gas emissions drive climate change, making extreme weather more likely. China is the world's biggest emitter.

A separate landslide on a highway in southeastern Jiangxi province on Monday left three vehicles buried, state news agency Xinhua reported, without immediately reporting casualty figures.