China: People trapped in subways and cars during horrific floods | world News
People were left trapped in underground cars and carriages after torrential rains caused widespread damage in central China, with videos showing terrifying moments when people were stranded or drifted away.
At least 12 people died in the floods, the official Xinhua news agency reported. About 100 million people live in the state, where 100,000 people have reportedly been evacuated.
Sky News Asia reporter Tom Cheshire tweeted: “Very painful scenes in Zhengzhou at the moment with severe flooding. People trapped in subways – some rescued but other videos seem to show dead bodies.”
Pictures and videos from the area showed torrents of water pouring into the streets, as rescuers worked to evacuate trapped people.
Social media posts showed passengers trapped in deep flood waters in the middle of the subway.
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 the ChinaThe largest waterways.
Power went out to some parts of the city, and Wang Guirong, a 56-year-old restaurant manager, said she plans to sleep on the sofa in her restaurant.
“I have lived in Zhengzhou all my life and have never seen such a heavy rainstorm as today,” she said.
Storms in the area have been going on since the weekend, amid an unusually rainy season.
Trains were suspended, while highways were closed and flights were delayed or suspended.
Other cities in Henan – including Ruozhou – were devastated by water.
Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, famous for its martial arts, has been closed due to the weather.
An aluminum factory in the city exploded after water flowed into the facility.
The Longmen Grottoes – a UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses a Buddha carved into limestone dating back to AD 500 – are also threatened by flooding.
More than 30 reservoirs in Henan have exceeded their warning levels.
From Saturday to Tuesday, 3,535 meteorological stations in Henan experienced rainfall of more than 5 cm, of which 1,614 had levels above 10 cm and 151 were above 25 cm.
Floods are not uncommon in China during the rainy season, but the expansion of cities and the conversion of farmland into housing has brought more people closer to danger.
The state-controlled Xinhua News Agency reported that the situation had been moved to a level one flood emergency level – the highest level on the scale, indicating the most severe case.
Forecasters expect the heavy rain to end by Thursday.