- Floodwaters trapped people in subways.
- Neighborhoods were covered in waist-high water.
- One city received its entire average annual rainfall in 72 hours.
Over 30 inches of rain fell in 72 hours across a part of central China, creating deadly torrents of floodwaters that trapped people in subways and buildings and left cars floating down roadways.
At least 25 people were killed and 100,000 were forced from their homes, according to the Associated Press. At least seven people were reported missing.
The worst of the flooding appears to be in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, with entire neighborhoods covered in waist-deep water. Floodwaters rushed into subways and filled train cars, where a dozen of the victims reportedly died.
“The water reached my chest,” one survivor wrote on social media, according to Reuters. “I was really scared, but the most terrifying thing was not the water, but the diminishing air supply in the carriage.”
Video posted by state-run media The Paper showed a scene similar to what the survivor described, with subway riders stoically standing in deep, muddy brown water.
Another person told Reuters that many people were on the subway because the flooding had shut down bus service.
More than 500 people were rescued, according to the BBC.
In all, at least 10 trains carrying about 10,000 passengers were stopped by the flooding, including three that were halted for more than 40 hours, the AP reported. Sections of more than two dozen highways were closed.
A power outage shut down ventilators at a hospital in Zhengzhou. Staff used hand-pumped airbags to help patients breathe, according to the city’s Communist Party committee, and more than 600 were moved to other hospitals.
On Tuesday night, China’s military blasted a dam to prevent flooding in the city of Luoyang, about 89 miles west of Zhengzhou. Both cities are several hundred miles southwest of Beijing in the central province of Henan.
Officials in Henan said 100,000 had been evacuated from their homes due to flooding.
The rain in Zhengzhou came in deluges over three days. About 31 inches fell in a 72-hour period through Wednesday evening, local time.
That’s more rain than the city would normally receive in an entire year, weather.com senior meteorologist Jonathan Erdman said Wednesday.
The Zhengzhou weather bureau said the three days of rain was at a level seen “once in a thousand years.”
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