At Least 12 Killed After Zhengzhou Subway Is Submerged In Floodwater

Days of heavy rain have caused severe flooding in central China. State media said on Wednesday at least 12 people trapped in a subway in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, China, was killed.

Heavy rains caused rivers to overflow their banks, bringing water into urban areas in Ha Nam province. State media reported flooding break a retaining wall near the entrance to Line 5 of the Zhengzhou subway system, flooding the underground tunnels.

Some passengers trapped in chest and neck-deep water were able to post videos online. In one video, water poured into the windows of cars stuck inside the tunnel. Other videos show corpses on a subway platform – suggesting the death toll could be much higher.

The city of 5 million people is located along the Yellow River. Zhengzhou’s flood control headquarters said heavy rain had filled its water storage facilities, which now had “a great risk” of failure. The agency said it had notified local government officials to order the evacuation of affected areas. At least 100,000 people have been moved to temporary shelters, Xinhua said on Wednesday

Authorities said they had dispatched military personnel to assist in rescue operations. Heavy rain in China’s Henan province started on Tuesday and hasn’t stopped yet. China’s weather agency said more than 20 centimeters of rain fell in just an hour at the start of the downpour.

The local government in Luoyang city warned that the Yihetan dam could “collapse at any time.” Weather authorities have issued the highest level of alert for the province as downpours are expected to continue throughout the rest of the week.

Cities near Zhengzhou also reported severe flooding. Residents from nearby cities posted pleas for help on social media. According to local reports, about 20,000 people had to be evacuated in Gongyi after floodwaters flooded hundreds of homes.

Flooding often occurs in urban areas along China’s rivers and streams. However, the severity of floods in recent years has increased significantly despite the government’s flood control efforts. Last summer, hundreds of people were killed and millions were displaced after several areas along the Yangtze River were flooded following heavy rains.

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