At least 12 dead in China after 'heaviest rain in 1,000 years'
Untold destruction after record-breaking rainfall
As we moan and complain about the exhaustive heat in the UK, there are other places around the world dealing with dangerous weather patterns. Days of rain in China have caused widespread damage and led to 200,000 evacuations across the Henan province, and causing $11m worth of damage.
Central #China's Henan Province is experiencing floods after being hit by record heavy rains since last Saturday. 5 national meteorological stations broke the historical precipitation record for 3 consecutive days. pic.twitter.com/SggSUoewad
— Rita Bai (@RitaBai) July 20, 2021
There has been "significant loss of life and damage to property," says Chinese President Xi Jinping. In the provincial capital Zhengzhou, the equivalent of a year's average rainfall has fallen in just three days, the BBC reports.
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". Experts have said this is caused due to global warming and that severe storms are still yet to batter the region.
Floodwaters filled the city's underground network, trapping commuters inside trains that were slowly filling with water. Waters rose from "our ankles to our knees to our necks," say survivors. After around half an hour, the air became thin, and people began to struggle to breathe.
Floods in China's Henan province and it's capital Zhengzhou seem worse even than what happened in Germany last week. Today Zhengzhou had 200mm of rain in one hour. In Germany, they had 154mm in 24 hours. See @javihagen for more. pic.twitter.com/73aIDbaVfH
— Ian Fraser (@Ian_Fraser) July 20, 2021
In one video, a woman pushes on the windows, and the water levels can be seen outside the train. Though the carriages protected them initially from the flooding, it also became a death trap when water began to pour through the doors. "Water was leaking from the cracks in the door, more and more of it, all of us who could, stood on the subway seats," said one passenger on Chinese social media app Weibo.
"In the half-hour that, followed the water level became higher and higher inside the train, from our ankles to our knees to our necks.
"The power went out. Half an hour later it got hard to breathe."
The Daily Mail reports that a woman identified as Xiaopei called for help on social media, posting the following:
"All emergency rescue units and firemen, please come save us!" said one of her messages sent at 7.32 pm.
"We are trapped in a Line 5 tunnel. Please help spread this message. The water inside the train is chest-deep. I can no longer speak, please help! SOS."
Henan province is home to 94 million people. The capital Zhengzhou received 200 mm of rainfall in one hour on Tuesday.
This unconfirmed video is thought to be from inside the subway in the province.
More about the floods here: https://t.co/5At9o0HRBU pic.twitter.com/x6HReXnmJg
— Akshat Rathi (@AkshatRathi) July 20, 2021
Ten minutes later, Xiaopei sent one final message saying the water had reached her neck. Her phone then died, and the passengers were not rescued until more than an hour later.
Flooding had triggered a huge explosion at a metalworking factory because floodwater mixed with hot metal alloys. The explosion destroyed much of the factory, but luckily the workers had already escaped.
An aluminium alloy unit of Dengfeng Power Group Co Ltd in China's central Henan province exploded as flooding water entered the plant, the local government said on Tuesday.#MNewsWorld #MNews pic.twitter.com/QAF4e6sHZ4
— 𝐌.𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 - 𝐄𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡 (@mnews_world) July 20, 2021
As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 10,000 citizens have been evacuated. However, with waters still rising and reservoirs becoming dangerously close to bursting, the situation is far from over.