Floods In Henan: 25 Dead, Thousands Displaced And Rescue Continues

China’s State Floods Control and Drought Relief Headquarters lifted the emergency response to Level II, the second-highest level in the response system, starting at 3 a.m. on Wednesday.

Floods in Henan: 25 dead, thousands displaced and rescue continues

A heavy rainfall hitting central China’s Henan Province since Friday has left at least 25 dead, seven missing, more than 160,000 displaced and more than 1.2 million affected in the third most populated province with more than 99 million people, according to a press conference held by local officials on Wednesday afternoon. 

Provincial capital Zhengzhou City witnessed its heaviest rainfall in decades on Tuesday. The city registered 201.9 millimeters (mm) of precipitation between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, a record hourly high for the Chinese mainland.

The city also broke its single-day precipitation record, hitting its highest level since Zhengzhou’s weather station was established in 1951, according to Xinhua. 

The record torrential rainfall left at least 16 dead in Zhengzhou, where multiple train stations and roadways were submerged. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday stressed saving people’s lives as a top priority in floods prevention and rescue.

China’s State Floods Control and Drought Relief Headquarters lifted the emergency response to Level II, the second-highest level in the response system, starting at 3 a.m. on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) on Wednesday allocated a total of 100 million yuan (about $15 million) for disaster relief to Henan.

The funds include 60 million yuan allocated by the two ministries for natural disaster relief and 40 million yuan from the MOF alone for agricultural production and water conservancy disaster relief. 

The precipitation will continue across Henan Province until July 23, said forecasters from the national and Henan provincial meteorological centers on Wednesday.

Several factors, including atmospheric pressure, typhoon, and topography, are reported to have contributed to the unusual downpour in the province.

PLA and 1,800 firefighters from nearby provinces sent to Henan

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has mobilized its forces in Henan to participate in disaster-relief efforts in the province.

More than 5,700 officers, soldiers, and militiamen have been deployed to assist Henan Provincial government’s relief and rescue endeavors, according to the press conference.

Around 200 Chinese People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force soldiers have joined the disaster rescue operation.

Besides, the MEM has dispatched 1,800 firefighters from nearby provinces, including north China’s Hebei and east China’s Anhui, to support disaster relief work in Henan with 250 speed boats and over 18,500 sets of other equipment for flood control and emergency rescue.

In Henan, the provincial fire service headquarters had mobilized hundreds of firefighters and boats and have rescued 1,231 people as of 4 a.m. on Wednesday.

A high-speed train suspended due to heavy rainfall in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, waits at the Wuhan Railway Station in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province, July 21, 2021.

Transportation services began to resume after being disrupted

Some sections of expressways and highways in the province have begun resuming traffics after they were disrupted due to torrential rains, according to the press conference.

Transport services in Zhengzhou and sections of the national rail lines in the city have been partially disrupted following the record rainfall. 

More than 100 trains stopped services at Zhengzhou East Railway Station, stranding large numbers of passengers, according to chinanews.com, adding that the city’s subway network was suspended on Tuesday afternoon and its airport also stopped receiving incoming flights from Tuesday night until Wednesday noon.

At 3:03 p.m. on Wednesday, Zhengzhou Airport received its first incoming flight from Hainan, according to Variflight.com, a platform providing civil aviation data.

As of 2:01 p.m. on Wednesday, 15 bus lines in rain-ravaged Zhengzhou City have restored operation, and other bus routes will be gradually restored depending on road safety, according to local media. 

Social forces extended hands to help Henan

People and companies nationwide all extended their hands to help residents in Henan survive the record rainfall.

Chinese social media users expressed their worry and encouraged residents in Henan with hashtags on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo and shared emergency services information on social messaging apps, including WeChat Moments.

The hashtag #HenanRainstorms on Sina Weibo has garnered nearly 3.58 billion views and 6.6 million comments as of 8:11 p.m. on Wednesday.

Enterprises have donated money and other rescue supplies to help Henan fight the floods. China Anneng Construction Group Corpsent a rescue team of over 50 people to Henan on Tuesday. 

Originally published at Cgtn

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