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China blows up dam to divert massive flooding in Henan province: NPR


On Tuesday, a man cycles through a flooded intersection in Zhengzhou, central China’s Henan Province. The Chinese army blew up a dam to release floodwaters threatening one of its most populous provinces.

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China blows up dam to divert massive flooding in Henan province: NPR

On Tuesday, a man cycles through a flooded intersection in Zhengzhou, central China’s Henan Province. The Chinese army blew up a dam to release floodwaters threatening one of its most populous provinces.

Chinatopix via AP

BEIJING – The Chinese military has blown up a dam to release floodwaters threatening one of its most populous provinces, as the death toll from widespread flooding has risen to at least 25.

The dam operation took place Tuesday evening in Luoyang City, just as severe flooding engulfed the capital of Henan Province, Zhengzhou, trapping residents in the subway system and blocking them in schools, apartments and offices.

Seven other people were reported missing, provincial officials said at a press conference.

A video posted to Twitter by news site The Paper showed subway passengers standing in chest-deep muddy brown water as torrents raged through the tunnel outside.

Transportation and work were disrupted across the province, with rain turning streets into fast-flowing rivers, washing away cars and entering people’s homes.

At least 10 trains carrying around 10,000 passengers have been immobilized, including three for more than 40 hours, according to Caixin, an economic information magazine. Sections of 26 highways have been closed due to rain, the transportation ministry said on its social media account.

A power failure cut off ventilators at Zhengzhou University’s First Affiliate Hospital, forcing staff to use hand-pump airbags to help patients breathe, according to the city’s Communist Party committee. He said more than 600 patients were being transferred to other hospitals.

China blows up dam to divert massive flooding in Henan province: NPR

People walk in floodwaters along a street in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital of Henan, on Tuesday. Severe flooding killed several people in Zhengzhou, where residents were trapped in the subway and stranded in schools, apartments and offices.

Chinatopix via AP


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China blows up dam to divert massive flooding in Henan province: NPR

People walk in floodwaters along a street in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital of Henan, on Tuesday. Severe flooding killed several people in Zhengzhou, where residents were trapped in the subway and stranded in schools, apartments and offices.

Chinatopix via AP

A woman on a subway in a flooded tunnel told her husband that the water was almost reaching his neck and that passengers were having trouble breathing, the Henan Business Daily the newspaper reported.

He said staff at a metro station told his husband that all the passengers had been evacuated, but admitted that was not the case after starting a video chat with his wife on her cell phone showing that she was still on board.

The exact times and locations of the deaths and disappearances were not immediately clear, although the province said more than 100,000 people had been evacuated to safety.

China blows up dam to divert massive flooding in Henan province: NPR

Vehicles are stranded after a heavy downpour in Zhengzhoui on Tuesday. Heavy flooding hit central China following unusually heavy rains.

Chinatopix via AP


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China blows up dam to divert massive flooding in Henan province: NPR

Vehicles are stranded after a heavy downpour in Zhengzhoui on Tuesday. Heavy flooding hit central China following unusually heavy rains.

Chinatopix via AP

Henan Province has many cultural sites and is a major base for industry and agriculture. It is crisscrossed by multiple rivers, many of which are linked to the Yellow River, which has a long history of overflowing its banks during periods of heavy rains.

State media showed waist-high water on Wednesday, with rain still falling.

North of Zhengzhou, the famous Shaolin Temple, known for the martial arts mastery of its Buddhist monks, has also been hit hard.

China regularly experiences flooding during the summer, but the growth of cities and the conversion of farmland to housing estates have compounded the impact of such events.



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