China’s military has blasted a dam to release floodwaters threatening one of its most heavily populated provinces.
The operation late on Tuesday night in the city of Luoyang came after at least 12 people died in severe flooding in the Henan provincial capital of Zhengzhou, where residents were trapped in the subway system and left stranded at schools, apartments and offices.
Vehicles are stranded after a heavy downpour in Zhengzhou city, central China's Henan province. Photo / AP
Zhengzhou was hit by 20cm of rain from 4 to 5pm yesterday, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing the Henan weather agency.
Transport and working life were disrupted throughout the province, with torrents of rain turning streets into rapidly flowing rivers, washing away cars and rising into people’s homes.
Vehicles pass through floodwaters in Zhengzhou in central China's Henan Province. Photo / AP
Videos of passengers struggling against neck-high water inside a train carriage emerged on social media.
— 迷迭香 (@midiexiang6555) July 20, 2021
Think your commute is bad?
Try getting stuck in a flooded subway train. pic.twitter.com/gE3neHRwhv
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) July 20, 2021
More than 100,000 people have been evacuated to safety. Henan province is home to many cultural sites and a major base for industry and agriculture.
State media on Wednesday showed water at waist height, with rain still coming down.
To the north of Zhengzhou, the famed Shaolin Temple, known for its Buddhist monks’ mastery of martial arts, was also badly hit.
People move through flood water after a heavy downpour in Zhengzhou city, central China's Henan province. Photo / AP
“I have lived in Zhengzhou all my life and have never seen such a heavy rainstorm as today,” Wang Guirong, a 56-year-old restaurant manager, said.
China experiences regular flooding during the summer, but the growth of cities and conversion of farmland into subdivisions has raised the impact of such events.
– AP, news.com.au