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World News

People trapped on subway trains and in cars after terrifying floods in China

today20/07/2021

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People have been left trapped in cars and underground train carriages after heavy rainfall caused widespread damage in central China.

More than 20cm of rain fell on the city of Zhengzhou, Henan province, in a single hour on Tuesday. In the recent European floods, the worst-hit areas of Germany saw 18.2cm over three days.

So far, there have been no confirmed deaths or casualties among the state’s more than 100 million people – although 10,000 have reportedly been evacuated.

Sky News Asia correspondent Tom Cheshire tweeted: “Very distressing scenes in Zhengzhou right now where there is severe flooding. People trapped in subway – some rescued but other videos appear to show dead bodies.”

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Floodwater surges through Chinese subway

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Cars float down flooded road in China

Pictures and video from the region showed torrents of water flowing down streets, with rescuers working to evacuate people who had become trapped.

Posts on social media showed commuters trapped in waist-deep flood water on a subway train.

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Woman rescued from raging floodwaters

Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan, has a population of more than 10 million and is located on the bank of the Yellow River – one of China‘s largest waterways.

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Power has been cut to some parts of the city, and Wang Guirong, a 56-year-old restaurant manager, said she planned to sleep on the sofa at her restaurant.

She said: “I have lived in Zhengzhou all my life and have never seen such a heavy rainstorm as today.”

Heavy rainfall causes waterlogging in Zhengzhou city, central China's Henan province, 20 July 2021. (Imaginechina via AP Images)
Image: Heavy rainfall causes waterlogging in Zhengzhou city. Pic: AP

The storms in the region have been taking place since the weekend, amid an unusually wet rainy season.

Trains have been suspended, while highways are closed and flights delayed or suspended.

Other cities in Henan – including Ruzhou – have been ravaged by the waters.

A person walks in the waterlogging caused by rainstorm in Zhengzhou city, central China's Henan province, 20 July 2021. (Imaginechina via AP Images)
Image: A person walks through floodwater. Pic: AP
Debris of collapsed wall caused by heavy rainstorm damages 7 cars in Zhengzhou city, central China's Henan province, 20 July 2021. (Imaginechina via AP Images)
Image: The rainstorm has already caused a large amount of damage. Pic: AP

The Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, famous for its martial arts, has had to close due to the inclement weather.

An aluminium plant in the city exploded after water surged into the facility.

And the Longmen Grottoes – a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring buddhas etched into limestone dating back as far as 500 AD – are also threatened by the flooding.

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Driver surrounded by floodwater

People ride in the waterlogging caused by rainstorm in Zhengzhou city, central China's Henan province, 20 July 2021. (Imaginechina via AP Images)
Image: Zhengzhou has a population of more than 10 million. Pic: AP

More than 30 reservoirs in Henan have exceeded their warning levels.

From Saturday to Tuesday, 3,535 weather stations in Henan saw rainfall exceeding 5cm, of which 1,614 had levels above 10cm and 151 above 25cm.

Flooding is not uncommon in China during the rainy season, but the expansion of cities and conversion of agricultural land into housing has put more people closer to danger.

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Xinhua, the state-controlled news agency, reports the situation has been moved to a level three flood emergency from level four.

China has four tiers of floods, with the most serious being level one.

Forecasters are predicting the downpours to end by Thursday.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News


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today20/07/2021