Heavy rainfall for decades has caused massive flooding in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou. State media initially reported 12 deaths. But it is feared that there will be significantly more casualties.
The subway flooded, with hundreds of people trapped in trains and tunnels, according to what was reported by official media and eyewitnesses on social media. Videos can be seen how water sometimes reaches their necks.
During the evacuations, more than 100,000 people were taken to safety, Peoples newspaper reported. Among them were about 600 seriously ill patients from Zhengzhou University Hospital. The power went out in the clinic.
In the south of Zhengzhou, the dam of the Gujiagu Water Reservoir broke in the early hours of Wednesday morning (local time), state TV reported. Details were not known at first.
“The situation is bleak”
Such rains usually occur once every 100 years. The situation is grim,” the crisis team in the provincial capital of Henan, which has a population of nine million, said, according to the “China Daily.” People also appeared to have died in the subway. A photo on social media showed two people lying dead on a station platform on Line 5. Scarves covered their faces.
Many streets in the city were flooded. Some turned into torrents. Cars swam in the water. Water and electricity supplies were cut off in many places. Traffic paralyzed. Buses broke down. The subway network was closed, and high-speed trains were suspended. Thousands of passengers were stuck at the train station. Zhengzhou airport canceled 270 flights.
Videos of the dramatic rescue operations, in which people were rescued from raging brown floods, were also circulated in state media and on the Weibo SMS service. But netizens have complained that government censors have deleted the posts.
The hurricane brought rain
Typhoon N-Fa brought unusually heavy rains in Henan. The typhoon also caused severe weather in Zhejiang and Fujian provinces. Henan Province has been hit by torrential rains since last week.
Water levels in tributaries of the Yellow River and Haihe River have exceeded alert levels, Xinhua news agency reported. More heavy rains and floods are expected. The damage to agriculture runs into the millions.
According to meteorologists, Zhengzhou experienced the heaviest rainfall in 60 years. Severe storms were also reported from southern China, where another typhoon called Cempaka hit the ground near Yangjiang city with winds up to 110 kilometers per hour in Guangdong Province. There were also severe floods in Inner Mongolia in northern China. (SDA/euc)
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