16 killed in severe rainstorms in central China...

Dhaka, Monday   27 September 2021

16 killed in severe rainstorms in central China

 International Desk daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 05:10 PM, 21 July 2021  

Collected

Collected

At least 16 people have died after torrential rains caused landslides and flooded a city in central China, with shocking images showing passengers struggling against chest-high water inside a train carriage.

As river embankments were breached in record downpours across Henan province, President Xi Jinping described the situation as “extremely severe” with flood control measures entering a “critical stage “, state media reported Wednesday.

Around 200,000 city residents were evacuated, local government officials said, as soldiers led rescue efforts in Zhengzhou — a city of over 10 million people — where days of rain have inundated the streets and subway.

The rainfall in the region was the heaviest since record-keeping began 60 years ago, with Zhengzhou seeing the equivalent of a year's average rainfall in just three days.

Rainstorms submerged Zhengzhou’s metro, killing 12 people and injuring five, while city officials said hundreds were rescued from the subway.

Nerve-shredding images shared on social media showed shocked passengers contending with the fast-rising waters inside a train carriage. Rescuers cut open the roof of the coach to pull people to safety, local media reported.

Others showed dramatic rescues of pedestrians in Zhengzhou from torrents gushing through the streets.

At least four were killed in the nearby Gongyi city where houses and walls have collapsed, the official Xinhua news agency said, adding that rainfall had caused multiple landslides.

Army sent

Authorities have issued the highest warning level for Henan province as floods continue to hammer the region.

As the scale of the disaster continued to unspool on Wednesday, the Chinese army warned that a stricken dam around an hour from Zhengzhou city “could collapse at any time” after being severely damaged in torrential storms.

The regional unit of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said Tuesday that the relentless downpour had caused damage to the Yihetan dam in the nearby city of Luoyang.

On Wednesday morning the PLA said blasting operations had been carried out at the dam and troops had “successfully opened a new flood diversion opening”.

These measures meant the water level had dropped and the “danger has been effectively controlled”.

Soldiers have been deployed to other rivers nearby to reinforce embankments with sandbags as the floods fanned out across Henan and warnings were issued of other near breaches of dams. – AFP

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