In Pictures

Deadly floods hit central China after torrential rainfall

Floods inundate streets, homes, and subway stations in China’s central province of Henan, leaving at least 25 dead.

People wade through floodwaters on a road amid heavy rainfall in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. [Reuters]
People wade through floodwaters on a road amid heavy rainfall in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. [Reuters]

At least 25 people have died after torrential rains caused landslides and flooded a city in central China, with passengers struggling against chest-high water inside a train carriage.

As river embankments were breached in record downpours across Henan province, President Xi Jinping described the situation as “extremely severe” with flood control measures entering a “critical stage”, state media reported on Wednesday.

About 200,000 residents were evacuated in Zhengzhou, local government officials said, as soldiers led rescue efforts in the city of more than 10 million people which saw the equivalent of a year’s average rain dumped on it in just three days.

The rainfall in the region was the heaviest since record-keeping began 60 years ago.

Rainstorms submerged Zhengzhou’s metro late on Tuesday, killing 12 people and injuring five, while city officials said hundreds were rescued from the subway.

Nerve-racking images shared on social media showed shocked passengers contending with the fast-rising waters inside a train carriage. Rescuers cut open the roof of the coach to pull people to safety, local media reported.

Others showed dramatic rescues of pedestrians in Zhengzhou from torrents gushing through the streets.

At least four were killed in nearby Gongyi city where houses and walls have collapsed, the official Xinhua news agency said, adding that rainfall had caused multiple landslides.

Authorities have issued the highest warning level for Henan province as floods continue to hammer the region, with landslides blocking many roads, villages evacuated and large areas left without communication.

More than 140,000 people have been affected by heavy rains in Henan Province since July 16, and more than 10,000 have had to be relocated. [Reuters]
More than 140,000 people have been affected by heavy rains in Henan Province since July 16, and more than 10,000 have had to be relocated. [Reuters]
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Transport and work have been disrupted throughout Henan province, with floodwater washing away cars and rising into people’s homes. [AFP]
Transport and work have been disrupted throughout Henan province, with floodwater washing away cars and rising into people’s homes. [AFP]
Part of the tunnel of Zhengzhou's subway Line 5 was flooded and water gushed into subway cars, trapping passengers. [AFP]
Part of the tunnel of Zhengzhou's subway Line 5 was flooded and water gushed into subway cars, trapping passengers. [AFP]
A traffic police officer guides residents across a flooded road with a rope during heavy rainfall in Zhengzhou, Henan province. [Reuters]
A traffic police officer guides residents across a flooded road with a rope during heavy rainfall in Zhengzhou, Henan province. [Reuters]
Henan province has many cultural sites and is a major base for industry and agriculture. It is crisscrossed by multiple waterways, many of them linked to the Yellow River, which has a long history of bursting its banks during periods of intense rainfall. [EPA]
Henan province has many cultural sites and is a major base for industry and agriculture. It is crisscrossed by multiple waterways, many of them linked to the Yellow River, which has a long history of bursting its banks during periods of intense rainfall. [EPA]
Aerial view of the flooded main urban area in Zhengzhou, Henan province. [Getty Images]
Aerial view of the flooded main urban area in Zhengzhou, Henan province. [Getty Images]
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Damaged cars amid debris after heavy rain hits the city of Zhengzhou, causing floods in China's central Henan province. [AFP]
Damaged cars amid debris after heavy rain hits the city of Zhengzhou, causing floods in China's central Henan province. [AFP]
People queue on a flooded road amid heavy rain in Zhengzhou, Henan province. [EPA]
People queue on a flooded road amid heavy rain in Zhengzhou, Henan province. [EPA]
The province said more than 100,000 people have been evacuated to safety. [Reuters]
The province said more than 100,000 people have been evacuated to safety. [Reuters]

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