12 killed, 100,000 relocated in central China's Henan after heavy rain

Residents wade through floodwaters in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China, on July 20, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS
People wading through flood waters along a street in Zhengzhou, Henan province, in China, on July 20, 2021. PHOTO: AFP
Residents wade through floodwaters on a road in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China, on July 20, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS
Residents wade through floodwaters on a flooded road amid heavy rainfall in Zhengzhou, Henan province on July 20, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) - Heavy rainfall in central China's Henan province has killed 12 people in its capital, Zhengzhou, and has led to the relocation of about 100,000 people to safe zones, state media Xinhua reported on Wednesday (July 21) citing local government.

Both Henan province and Zhengzhou municipal meteorological bureaus raised the emergency response for the disaster to Level 1, with forecasts predicting heavy rain in the province to last until Wednesday night, Xinhua reported.

Henan province has been hit by storms since the weekend in an unusually active rainy season, resulting in bursting of major river banks and flooding of streets of a dozen cities, upending daily lives of millions of people.

Zhengzhou saw 457.5mm of rainfall in the 24 hours through 5pm on Tuesday, the highest since records began for the city of more than 10 million people.

That included a record 201.9mm in a single hour, from 4pm to 5pm.

Henan is a major producer of agricultural products and machinery, while Zhengzhou is home to a large plant owned by Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, more commonly known as Foxconn.

Pictures published by state media showed large sections of city roads submerged, while videos posted on social media showed passengers in flooded-out subway cars.

Thousands of rescue workers including soldiers and firefighters have been dispatched to carry out rescue work in the city, Xinhua said.

The flooding came shortly after key Chinese cities warned that homes and factories face new power outages as historic demand and supply shortages strain energy grids.

Eleven provinces including eastern manufacturing hubs and landlocked central
China reported record demand and peak-load surges last week, amid hot weather.

The Zhengzhou airport announced on Tuesday evening it would temporarily suspend subways and inter-city trains heading to and from the airport, and it would not accept incoming flights from 8 pm local time (1200 GMT) on Tuesday to 12 pm on Wednesday.

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