Over 350,000 Evacuated, 33 Dead, 8 Missing After Floods in China

Catastrophic flooding in cities and areas of Henan province in central China has killed as many as 33 people after days of torrential rain.

state media has said that around 3 million people have been affected and 376,000 people relocated to safer accommodation. As of 22 July, 33 people have lost their lives and 8 are still missing.

Images shared on Social Media showed streets of the city of Zhengzhou turned to rivers, with floating cars and residents stranded or wading through flood water up to 1.8 metres deep. The city’s subway was flooded, leaving passengers stranded and some trapped in train carriages up to their chests in flood water. Many were rescued after making their way to safety walking along flooded train tracks.

Massive rescue and relief efforts are still underway to deal with the impact of the floods. Teams from military, police and over 17,000 firefighters from Henan province have been joined by teams of 1,800 firefighters from neighbouring provinces.

Local telecommunication companies are carrying out repairs to at least 6,300 base stations and 275 km of optical fibre cables in Zhengzhou.

Chinese media said thousands of hectares of farmland have suffered damaged.

More rain fell between 16:00 and 17:00 hours, 20 July 2021, than the typical average for the whole of July.

Figures from China’s National Meteorological Center show Zhengzhou recorded 622.7 mm of rain in just 24 hours to early (local time) 21 July. According to the World Meteorological Organization, the annual average rainfall for the city is 645 mm.

Rainfall in Henan China 20 to 21 July 2021. Image: National Meteorological Center China

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