According to reports, at least 20 people have been killed and more than 100,000 have been forced to evacuate in central China’s Henan province due to three days of heavy rain that has caused severe flooding.
In the early hours of Wednesday, a Chinese state media outlet reported that 12 people had been killed. The death toll has risen to at least 20, according to Radio Free China’s official Chinese Twitter account.
According to local reports, the extreme rainfall has caused massive traffic mayhem, as well as flight and high-speed rail line suspensions or delays, since Monday. According to reports, an unknown number of subway riders and residents drowned or were carried away by the strong currents, and cars were washed off the streets.
A short video shows subway riders trapped in a waterlogged subway car that stopped moving between Haitansi and Shakou Road stations on July 20 in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan on the banks of the Yellow River with a population of over 12 million people.
The passengers were eventually rescued. According to an on-site witness, several bodies were carried out of the carriage that appeared to be dead. Another individual appeared to be receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Several subway entrances were also closed due to the persistent rain. According to reports, these included the F to Shilipu East station on the city’s subway Line 4. Electric buses have also been suspended in the city since 2:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday.
According to a local official microblog, the capital’s flood control and prevention authorities raised the emergency response level from II to I as of 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
As of Tuesday, five national weather stations in the province had all reached a record high of three consecutive days of rainfall since their establishment, which are located in Songshan (512.2 mm), Gongyi (358.9 mm), Xinmi (324.8 mm), Yanshi (290.4 mm), and Dengfeng (288.3 mm).
In Henan, the flood control level has been exceeded in 31 large and medium-sized reservoirs. As the rain continues, severe flood disasters in mountainous rivers are likely.
Since Tuesday at 4 p.m. local time, the provincial emergency response level has been raised from IV to III.
According to official statistics, heavy rains have affected over 140,000 people in 17 counties and districts under the jurisdiction of the cities of Pingdingshan, Anyang, Jiaozuo, Sanmenxia, Nanyang, Xinyang, Zhoukou, and Zhumadian, flooding over 9,200 hectares of crops and causing direct financial losses of more than 72 million yuan (about $11.1 million) since July 16.
On Tuesday, the road leading to Mihe Town in Gongyi City was destroyed. Parts of the signals from a nearby communications signal tower were also cut off.
At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, China’s National Meteorological Center issued an orange rainstorm warning. It predicted torrential rain and downpours in north, central, and west Henan, south Hebei, and southeast Shanxi, among other places. It said a heavy downpour would hit parts of north Henan with 250-280 mm of rain in 24 hours, from 2 p.m. Tuesday to 2 p.m. Wednesday.