China’s Henan province hit by rainy deluge, leaving at least 25 dead

July 22, 2021: At least 25 people have been killed in China’s flood-hit central province of Henan, with a dozen standing in a subway line in its capital, Zhengzhou, and more rain is forecast in the region.

About 100,000 people have been evacuated in Jhangzhou, an industrial and transportation hub of China, where rail and road routes were cut off. Dams and reservoirs have raised warning levels and thousands of troops are taking part in rescue efforts in the province.

Twelve people were killed and more than 500 were evacuated after the subway tunnel flooded, state media reported, while social media photos showed train passengers drowning in deep chest water in the dark. Is shown and a station is dropped into a large gray pond.

A resident, Goo, said he had to spend the night at his office. “That’s why so many people took the subway, and this tragedy happened.” Heavy rains since last weekend have killed at least 25 people, with seven missing, officials told a news conference on Wednesday.

More rain is forecast in Henan over the next three days, and the People’s Liberation Army of China has sent more than 5,700 troops and personnel to help with the search and rescue. From Saturday to Tuesday, Zhengzhou received 617.1 mm (24.3 inches) of rain, while its annual average is 640.8 mm (25.2 inches). 

The Zhengzhou Meteorological Bureau said the level of three days of rain was “only once in a thousand years”. Scientists told Reuters that, like the recent heatwaves in the United States and Canada and the severe floods in Western Europe, the rains in China were certainly linked to global warming.

“Such extreme weather conditions are more likely in the future,” said Johnny Chen, a professor of environmental science at Hong Kong City University. “Governments need to develop strategies to embrace such changes,” he added, referring to city, provincial and national level officials.

Infrastructure Damage

Many train services were suspended in Henan, a logistics center with a population of about 100 million. Highways have also been closed and flights have been delayed or canceled. As of Wednesday, media reported that hundreds of passengers stranded on the train had run out of food and water supplies that had stopped just two days earlier outside Zhengzhou.

Roads in a dozen cities in the province were flooded. “Flood prevention efforts have become very difficult,” President Xi Jinping said in a statement broadcast on state television. Dozens of reservoirs and dams broke.

Local officials said the rain caused a 20-meter breach at the Yahitan Dam in Luoyang City, west of Zhengzhou, and the dam could collapse at any moment. In Jhangzhou itself, where about 100,000 people have been evacuated, the Gojiazai reservoir was breached, but no dam has yet failed.

The region experienced power cut off in schools and hospitals.

Taiwan’s Foxconn, which operates a plant in China, Zhengzhou to produce iPhones for Apple, said the facility has not been directly affected. SEC Motor, China’s largest carmaker, warned of short-term effects on supplies at its plant, while Japan’s Nissan said production at its plant had been suspended. Schools and hospitals were mourned and flood victims took refuge in libraries, cinemas and museums.

“We have 200 people of all ages looking for temporary shelter,” said Wang, a staff member at the Zhangzhou Science and Technology Museum. “We provided them with instant noodles and hot water. They spent the night in a large auditorium.”

After the city’s largest hospital, ran out of power, and authorities raced to transport about 600 critically ill patients.

Neighboring Hebei Province issued a storm alert for some cities, including its capital, Shijiazhuang, warning of moderate to heavy rain from Wednesday.

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