China : At least 25 killed due to floods in central China
At least 25 people were killed including 12 who were trapped in a flooded subway in Zhengzhou, the capital of central China’s Henan province, following rare torrential rains in recent history in the region.
More than 500 people were evacuated from the subway system late on Tuesday night; in all about 200,000 people had to be relocated in the city because of the rainfall. The highest-level emergency alert notice has been issued across the province.
A total of 1.24 million (12.4 lakh) people were affected and 1,60,000 evacuated, state-run Global Times reported. The massive floods, described by meteorologists as a once-in-a-lifetime event, have resulted in apocalyptic scenes in the provincial capital Zhengzhou, a metropolis of 12.6 million, with its public avenues and subway tunnels getting submerged with surging waters.
Heavy waterlogging has led to the virtual paralysis of the city’s road traffic. Over 80 bus lines have been suspended, more than 100 temporarily detoured and the subway service has also been temporarily suspended. Police officers, firefighters, and workers from the local sub-district have arrived at the site for the rescue operation.
Henan has experienced “rare and severe rainfall” since Saturday, China’s meteorological authority said on Wednesday. Zhengzhou saw 624mm of rainfall on Tuesday, with a third of that amount falling between 16:00 and 17:00 alone, which “smashed historical records”. It forecasted that parts of the region would continue to see “severe or extremely severe storms” and that the heavy rain would likely only end on Thursday.