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Floods in China: Heavy floods kill at least 12 in Zhengzhou, thousands in Henan province

At least 12 people have been confirmed dead in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital, where more than eight inches of rain fell in an hour on Tuesday, according to the weather observatory.

It is not known how many people were trapped in the subway, and rescue efforts continue in Zhengzhou, a city of 12.6 million people on the banks of the Yellow River.

More than 100,000 people have so far been evacuated from low-lying areas of the city, with thousands of emergency personnel deployed to help with the effort, according to state media.

All of the recovered bodies were collected from the city’s metro, authorities said.

Broadcasting of sequences by Xinhua State News Agency and widely shared online shows passengers from Zhengzhou trapped in a flooded subway car, crowded together as the water rises higher. Outside the window, dark floodwater tears, crashing down the subway tracks.
The city’s metro system, which contains seven lines and 153 stations, suspended all operations after the incident, according to provincial authorities.
More than 160 trains have also interrupted service at the city’s station, blocking large numbers of passengers, according to Xinhua.
Floods in China: Heavy floods kill at least 12 in Zhengzhou, thousands in Henan province

Other videos show residents on the streets, waist deep in water, working desperately to pull people trapped out of an underground mall using ropes. A clip shared by the public newspaper People’s Daily shows motorists on a road making a human chain, to avoid being swept away by the current as they scramble through the tumultuous water.

Heavy rains also caused power outages throughout the city. A hospital in Zhengzhou, housing nearly 10,000 patients including more than 600 in critical condition, suffered a power outage lasting several hours on Tuesday.

Although the rains have since abated, the problems are likely to persist as dams and reservoirs reach their maximum capacity. In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the Guojiaju dam near the city collapsed, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
And in Yichun County, a Chinese army brigade rushed to blow up a dam and deflect the flooding at the behest of county officials, according to state media CGTN.
More than 6,000 firefighters and nearly 2,000 members of the Chinese police and army have been deployed for search and rescue operations, according to the CGTN. Ground footage shows soldiers and emergency crews rescuing residents from rafts and clearing overturned power lines.
Floods in China: Heavy floods kill at least 12 in Zhengzhou, thousands in Henan province

Although flooding during the summer months is an annual occurrence in parts of China, recent record rains have alarmed scientists and officials, raising questions about whether the country is prepared to face the conditions. more extreme and unpredictable weather.

A report released last week by Greenpeace warned that major metropolitan areas around Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou-Shenzhen face a high risk of extreme heat and rainfall – and the danger is growing rapidly for urbanized communities on the outskirts of the city.

According to the report, Beijing experienced the fastest rise in average temperature with an increase of 0.32 degrees Celsius every 10 years. Guanzhou-Shenzhen has experienced 98 heat waves since 1961, the majority of which have occurred in the past two decades.

Meanwhile, precipitation is much more volatile, swinging up and down. The report says that if global greenhouse gas emissions peak around 2040, parts of China like Shanghai will experience a more than 25% increase in extreme rainfall, while other areas, like northwestern China. Guangzhou-Shenzhen, will experience more drought.


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