In China’s flooded subway, severe rainstorms kill 12 people.
After severe rains flooded a metro in Zhengzhou, central China, 12 people died, with heartbreaking photographs showing commuters battling against chest-high water inside a train carriage.
President Xi Jinping labeled the situation as “very grave,” with flood control measures nearing a “critical stage,” state media reported Wednesday morning after dams ruptured and river embankments were breached amid record downpours across Henan province.
According to local government officials, some 200,000 city residents were evacuated, with military spearheading rescue efforts in the city of over 10 million people, where days of rain have inundated the streets and subway.
In a Weibo post, local officials reported that rainstorms flooded Zhengzhou’s metro, killing 12 people and wounding five others, while hundreds were evacuated from the tube.
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.
As communications to the city broke down, relatives outside the area 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 merely gave her surname as Hou and stated 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 on Tuesday that the constant rain had created a 20-meter break in the Yihetan dam in Luoyang, a city of about seven million people.
The PLA’s Central Theater Command announced that soldiers had been dispatched to carry out an emergency response that included blasting and water diversion.
The statement continued, “On July 20, a 20-meter breach occurred at the Yihetan dam…. the riverbank was seriously damaged.”
As the floodwaters spread over Henan, soldiers were dispatched to neighboring rivers to strengthen embankments with sandbags, and warnings were given of possible dam collapses.
“Dams in several reservoirs have burst, resulting in significant damage, loss of life, and property. Brief News from Washington Newsday.