Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Thousands evacuated as floods submerge subway trains in central China cities

More than a dozen cities have been affected with main roads forced to close and flights cancelled.

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Torrential rain has caused severe flooding in parts of central China, forcing people from their homes and leaving underground mass-transit rail lines and stations submerged.

More than 10,000 people in Henan province have been evacuated and taken to shelters following the record rainfall.

At least 12 people have died in the city of Zhengzhou since the flooding began, authorities there confirmed.

More than a dozen cities have been affected with main roads forced to close and flights cancelled.

Henan province, which is home to some 94 million people, has issued its highest level of weather warning following an unusually active rainy season.

Images on social media showed entire streets submerged, with cars and debris being carried along in the fast-moving floodwaters.

There are also fears that a dam in Henan province could collapse after it was damaged by the recent storms.

A 20-metre breach has emerged in the dam in Luoyang city, officials said. Soldiers have been deployed to the area and a statement from the army warned it could “collapse at any time”.

In Zhengzhou, unverified video footage showed passengers standing in flooded subway carriages with water up to their shoulders. Rescuers pulled people to safety with ropes as others stood on seats to try to keep their heads above the rising water.

One person going by the name Xiaopei wrote a post on social media site Weibo begging for help: “The water in the carriage has reached my chest. I can’t speak anymore.”

The fire department later confirmed Xiaopei had been rescued.

“I have lived in Zhengzhou all my life and have never seen such a heavy rainstorm as today,” Wang Guirong, a 56-year-old restaurant manager, told the AP.

The amount of rain falling over the last three days in Zhengzhou is reported to be the same as it would usually receive in an entire year.

The downpours are forecast to continue in the region for at least the next 24 hours.

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