In Central China, severe rainstorms have killed 16 people.

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In Central China, severe rainstorms have killed 16 people.

At least 16 people have died in a city in central China after torrential rains caused landslides and flooding, with harrowing photographs showing passengers battling against chest-high water inside a train carriage.

President Xi Jinping classified the situation as “very serious,” with flood control measures reaching a “critical stage,” according to official media. River embankments were breached in record downpours across Henan province, and President Xi Jinping called the situation as “extremely severe.”

Soldiers spearheaded rescue attempts in Zhengzhou, a city of over 10 million people, where days of rain have inundated the streets and subway, according to local government officials.

The region’s rainfall was the greatest it’s been in 60 years, with Zhengzhou receiving the equivalent of a year’s typical rainfall in only three days.

Rainstorms flooded Zhengzhou’s metro, killing 12 people and wounding five more, while hundreds were evacuated, according to city officials.

Images uploaded on social media showed horrified passengers battling the rapidly rising waves inside a railway carriage. According to local media, rescuers ripped open the coach’s roof to lift people to safety.

Others showed pedestrians being rescued in Zhengzhou from rivers raging across the streets.

At least four people were murdered in the nearby Gongyi city, when houses and walls collapsed due to heavy rain, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

As contacts to Zhengzhou were disrupted, relatives outside the city made desperate pleas for information on China’s Weibo.

“Does the second floor appear to be in jeopardy? One person stated, “My folks live there, yet I can’t reach them on the phone.”

“I’m not sure what their condition is. When contacted by AFP, she only gave her surname as Hou and said she was in Tianjin and her parents were in Zhengzhou.

“I have a lot of anxiety.”

As floods continue to ravage Henan province, authorities have issued the highest degree of alert.

On Wednesday, as the disaster’s scope became clearer, the Chinese army warned that a troubled dam about an hour from Zhengzhou city “may collapse at any time” after being seriously damaged by torrential rains.

The People’s Liberation Army’s regional unit announced Tuesday that the constant rain has damaged the Yihetan dam in the adjacent city of Luoyang.

Blasting operations were carried out at the dam on Wednesday morning, according to the PLA, and troops “successfully opened a new flood diversion opening.”

The water level had reduced as a result of these actions, and the “threat” had been effectively eliminated. Brief News from Washington Newsday.

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