China floods: Commuters tell how they survived subway floods that killed 12

China floods: Commuters tell how they survived subway floods that killed 12

On Tuesday (20), a part of the city’s flood protection system collapsed due to Heavy rain And the water started attacking the stations.

Floods in China leave passengers trapped in subway cars

Floods in China leave passengers trapped in subway cars

According to local officials, more than 500 people were rescued. In the video shared on social media, some people are seen with water in their throats; The second shows a stream that spreads across the platforms.

Survivors reported on social networks that water began to enter through cracks in car doors, slowly “from our heels to our knees, until it reached our necks”.

One woman on the Weibo platform wrote, “Everyone who made this climbed into train seats, which is similar to Twitter.

In three days, Zhengzhou received the equivalent of a year’s average rainfall – Photo: Reuters via BBC

The children were helped by their parents, who raised them so that they were above the water level, while others supported themselves on anything that served as a shield to try to keep their heads above the water. Will work. After about half an hour, according to one passenger, “difficulty in breathing” began.

According to a statement issued by Zhengzhou authorities, the order to stop service on the line was made at 6:10 p.m. local time (7:10 p.m. EDT), in order to save passengers. In addition to the 12 deaths, five others were injured.

On the surface, the roads turned into rivers where the water quickly pulled down cars and debris, threatening the lives of pedestrians.

Across the province, the total number of victims of heavy rains recorded in recent days has reached 25. More than 200,000 people had to leave their homes. The transportation system was badly affected due to cancellation of flights and train journeys.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said the storm caused “significant loss of life and property.”

‘No water, electricity, internet’

At least 12 dead in China's torrential rain
At least 12 dead in China's torrential rain

At least 12 dead in China’s torrential rain

In Zhengzhou, the amount of rain in the last days is equal to the average seen throughout the year.

Images of the subway in Zhengzhou weren’t the only moments of despair. Elsewhere in the city, children had to be rescued from a day care center, which was also flooded with water. Government television channels showed students being taken out in plastic bowls.

According to a statement posted by the Zhengzhou Municipal Party Committee on the Weibo social network, the hospital at Zhengzhou University also went out of power on Tuesday night. Also, according to the text, 600 patients in critical condition had to be transferred to another health unit.

A resident, identified as 27-year-old Liu, told the BBC-in-Chinese service that he had “no water, electricity or internet.” “I had never seen so much rain in my life,” he said.

The damage was not limited to Zhengzhou. Local officials said rain had opened a 20-metre crack in a dam in the city of Luoyang. Military personnel were sent to the area to try to control the situation. However, an army statement warned that the structure could collapse at any time.

A user on social media said that residents of the city of Sishui are stuck on the roofs due to the floods. He wrote, “We don’t know how to swim… the whole village is about to be washed away.”

What happened because of the flood?

In three days, Zhengzhou received the equivalent of a year’s average rainfall – Photo: Reproduction via BBC

China’s Meteorological Department said on Wednesday that Henan province has been hit by “unusual and intense rain” since Saturday. Zhengzhou “broke a historical record” with 624 millimeters of rain on Tuesday – a third of the total between 4 pm and 5 pm.

Also, according to the Meteorological Department, storms and storms should continue in this area at least till Thursday (22).

Floods can be caused by a variety of factors, but warming of the atmosphere due to climate change increases the chances of extreme events such as hurricanes.

Heavy rain is expected to continue until Thursday, according to the Chinese Weather Service – Photo: Getty via BBC

Henan Province is in the Great Basin of the Yellow River, the second longest river in the country. Thus, the area is crossed by a river network and, therefore, ends up subject to a high risk of flooding. The capital, Zhengzhou, which has about 12 million residents, is on the Yellow Coast.

In recent decades, China has built several dams in the Yellow River basin. According to the BBC’s China correspondent Stephen McDonnell, scientists had already warned that infrastructure works could exacerbate problems caused by climate change in a region traditionally prone to flooding.

The links between rivers and lakes have been severed and the floodplains that once absorbed most of the region’s annual summer rain have become isolated.

Map of Henan Province, BBC — Photo: BBC

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About the author: Muhammad Wayne

Wayne is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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