Residents of the storm-ravaged central Chinese city of Zhengzhou were shoveling mud from their homes and hauling away wrecked cars and piles of ruined goods on Thursday after floods killed at least 33 people in the city and surrounding areas. Rains continued to fall in areas of Henan province, the capital of which is Zhengzhou.
People were stuck in apartments, workplaces, hotels, and rural houses in dozens of cities and towns when streets transformed into rivers. The biggest catastrophe in Zhengzhou occurred Tuesday night when flooding overwhelmed the metro system. According to the official Xinhua News Agency, eight individuals are still missing as a result of the floods.
According to official broadcaster CCTV, the storm front has moved to northern Henan, hitting cities including Hebi, Anyang, and Xinxiang. According to the city’s weather bureau, Xinxiang saw its highest rainfall in recorded history, with more than 250 mm falling in the 19 hours between Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon. The local administration has encouraged residents not to leave their homes unless absolutely essential.
As lakes and rivers flooded and water and power were cut off, residents resorted to social media to ask for help. Outside assistance was not arriving, and residents were left to fend for themselves, according to the postings. On Thursday, public transportation in Anyang was halted, and individuals were instructed to work from home, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
Zhengzhou, a 12-million-person city, had drier weather on Thursday, while significant areas of the city remained submerged. The rains not only flooded subway stations and stranded trains but also destroyed roads and hampered rail and air transportation. Water, power, and gas supplies were also shut off, and the city’s water supply was supplemented by more than 40 temporary sites.
Zhengzhou is a key railway hub in China, and some trains were delayed on the tracks for up to 40 hours, leading rescuers to bring food and drink to passengers. According to the local daily Henan Daily, some passengers were able to return to their place of departure, while others had to be rescued at the spot where they had become trapped.
According to the China Meteorological Administration, the rains in Henan will begin to subside on Thursday night.