Heavy rains in central China have killed at least 25 people, including a dozen passengers stranded on flooded subways, paralyzed several cities and caused millions of dollars in damage.
As record river embankments across Hunan Province were breached, President Xi Jinping described the situation as “extremely severe” as flood control measures entered a “critical phase”.
About 200,000 residents were evacuated in Zhengzhou when troops led a relief operation in the city of more than 10 million people, which saw an average of one year of rain in just three days, local government officials said. The water fell on him.
The region has received the heaviest rainfall since the record began 60 years ago, when scientists say climate change is causing more flooding around the world, as well as other extreme weather patterns. ۔
Late Tuesday’s torrential rains submerged the Zhengzhou metro, killing 12 people and injuring five, while city officials say hundreds were rescued from the subway.
In the nerve-wracking photos shared on social media, the stunned passengers stared at the chest-high water inside the train. According to local media, rescue workers cut off the roof of the coach to draw people to safety.
Others dramatically saved pedestrians in Zhengzhou from street storms.
Outside a road tunnel, AFP saw dozens of Turkish cars lined up, some drowning.
The state-run Xinhua news agency said at least four people were killed in a nearby town of Gongi, where houses and walls collapsed and rain caused several landslides.
Relatives outside Zhengzhou begged for information about China’s Weibo at a time when communication with the city was declining.
Li Rongguang, a woman in her sixties, told AFP that she had come to Zhengzhou to see a doctor but was stranded when trains were blocked by a storm.
He said that due to the weak signal of the phone, he struggled to contact his relatives or pay for his mobile phone.
“I want to get home as soon as possible,” he told AFP by the side of the road. “I can’t take it now.”
Authorities issued the highest level of warning for Hunan Province as the region continued to flood, landslides closed several roads, evacuated villages, closed tourist attractions and left large areas without communication.
The body has been warned that some important heritage sites have been damaged by water, including the Shaolin Temple – a famous monastery and a school for martial arts. And Longman Grotto, a UNESCO UNANICO cultural heritage site dating back to the fifth century. .
Henan is the birthplace of traditional Chinese martial arts, and home to many kung fu academies.
“Key preserved cultural relics have suffered varying degrees of water damage,” the statement said, but said they are now safe without providing further details.
As the scale of the devastation continued and the damage reached millions of dollars, the Chinese military said it had saved the Yahitan Dam from falling about an hour from Zhengzhou.
On Wednesday morning, the People’s Liberation Army said blasting operations had been carried out on the dam and that troops had “successfully inaugurated a new floodwaters”.
These measures mean that the water level has dropped and the threat has been effectively controlled.
Thousands of troops have been deployed to reinforce embankments with sandbags on other nearby rivers following the floods across Henan, and warnings have been issued for violations of nearby dams.
According to state broadcaster CCTV, Xi Jinping said, “Some of their reservoirs had burst their dams, causing severe injuries, loss of life and property.”
“We have already entered a critical phase of flood control. Leaders and workers from all walks of life must … resign in command, promptly to prevent floods and disasters.” Managing forces. “
But the threat has grown over the decades, with massive construction of dams and reservoirs that have cut off links between rivers and adjacent lakes and affected floodplains that have affected the weather. Helped absorb heat gain.
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