At least 33 people were killed in devastating floods in China

At least 33 people were killed in devastating floods in China

At least 33 people have died, while 8 are still missing in central China — after devastating floods that flooded entire neighborhoods and trapped passengers in subway cars.

As the authorities of Henan Province said on Thursday, torrential rains hit the province over the weekend, as a result of which hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless and economic damage in the amount of 1.22 billion was caused. yuan (about $190 million).

Henan, home to 99 million people, is one of the most populous and poorest provinces in China with large tracts of agricultural land and factories.

Zhengzhou, the provincial capital of 12 million people, was one of the hardest-hit areas: 12 people died there after spending hours trapped in a flooded subway. The number of victims is expected to grow.

In Gongyi, a city west of Zhengzhou, at least 4 people were killed as a result of flooding. Heavy rains also caused widespread house collapses and landslides, which made rescue operations difficult.

Floods in central China killed at least 25 people after a year’s worth of rain fell in 3 days.

At least 12 were killed in a flooded subway in Henan’s capital: «The water reached my chest.» Scientists say summer flooding and extreme weather is worsening due to the climate crisis.

— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 21, 2021

According to the state newspaper People’s Daily, in another city, Xinxiang, the rivers went beyond the permissible level, which affected 7 reservoirs. This affected 470 thousand people.

The seriousness of what is happening has been recorded in numerous videos posted on Chinese social networks, which show people and cars being carried away by streams of water.

On Thursday, stranded residents continued to ask for help on Wechat and Weibo, the country’s two largest social networks. Some of them shared photos and information about missing family members.

Henan provincial authorities said the intensity of the downpour was unprecedented: more than 20 centimeters (7.8 inches) of rain fell on Zhengzhou in one hour on Tuesday afternoon — which is a third of the annual rainfall in the city recorded last year.

The Zhengzhou Meteorological Station described the precipitation level as «happening once in a thousand years». The Department of Water Resources of Henan Province, in turn, called the level of precipitation in some parts of the province «happening once in 5 thousand years».