(CNN) – Frightened subway commuters in central China were left on Tuesday stuck inside flooded cars with roof handles stuck up to their necks in rising water, as record-breaking rains lashed parts of Henan province. was destroyed.
At least 12 people have been confirmed dead in the provincial capital, Zhengzhou, which received 8 inches of rain in an hour on Tuesday, according to China’s Meteorological Observatory.
Provincial officials said all the bodies were retrieved from the city’s metro system.
State media reported that more than 100,000 people had been evacuated from Zhengzhou, a city of 12.6 million on the banks of the Yellow River, with thousands of emergency personnel deployed.
And in the nearby town of Gongai, at least four people are reported to have died as floodwaters swept through residential areas, forcing more than 20,000 people to leave their homes.
Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the floods on Wednesday, describing the situation as “very serious” and ordered officials to “prioritize the safety of people’s lives and property”, state news agency Xinhua reported.
Although flooding during the summer months is an annual occurrence in parts of China, recent record-breaking rains have worried scientists and officials, raising questions about whether the country is fueled by more extreme and unpredictable climate change. Ready to deal with the weather.
footage broadcast by Xinhua And one widely shared online showed commuters trapped inside a flooded subway car in Zhengzhou, packed tightly together as the waters rose. Outside the window, deep floodwaters glide past, running down subway tracks.
According to screenshots that were circulated online, many of the stranded people posted calls for help on social media. Henan Fire Department statement.
“The water inside the car has reached chest level! I can’t speak anymore, please help!” wrote one woman, whose name was Xiaopei.
Minutes later, he posted another comment: “If no rescue comes in 20 minutes, several hundred of us will lose our lives in the Zhengzhou subway.” The fire department later confirmed that Xiaopei had been rescued.
The city’s metro system, which consists of seven lines and 153 stations, suspended all operations after the incident, it said. provincial officer.
Other videos showed residents on the street, water up to their hips, using ropes to work desperately to rescue people trapped in an underground mall. Others showed people forming human chains to avoid being swept away by the stream as they battled the strong current of water.
The heavy rain caused power outages in the entire city. A hospital housing about 10,000 patients suffered a complete blackout on Tuesday, with social media photos showing its first floor submerged in water.
On Weibo, China’s heavily censored version of Twitter, a user said The ventilator was cut off in the intensive care units at the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University due to a power outage. She said her father had to rely on medical workers to manually pump oxygen to his lungs, and requested officials to restore power to the facility.
People’s Daily Later Confirmed Blackout at the hospital, where she said more than 600 seriously ill patients needed to be transferred. Power was restored in the ICU unit, newspaper till Wednesday morning said.
according to the state broadcaster CGTNMore than 6,000 firefighters, and about 2,000 members of the police and Chinese military, were deployed to the disaster-hit areas. Footage from the ground showed soldiers and emergency teams rescuing residents on rafts and clearing broken power lines.
A report released last week by green Peace It warned that major metropolitan areas around Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou-Shenzhen are at risk from extreme heat and rainfall. Beijing has seen the sharpest increase in average temperature of 0.32 °C every 10 years. Guangzhou-Shenzhen has experienced 98 heat waves since 1961, the most in the past two decades.
The report also said that if global greenhouse emissions peak around 2040, parts of China, such as Shanghai, will experience more than a 25% increase in extreme rainfall – while other regions, such as northwestern Guangzhou- There will be more drought in Shenzhen.
Although the rains have subsided, problems are likely to remain, as dozens of dams and reservoirs have exceeded the warning level.
There were conflicting reports about the condition of the Guojiazui Dam near Zhengzhou, with CGTN initially announcing that it had collapsed at 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, before later revealing its run back. Reporting. A statement from the Ministry of Emergency Management also said that the dam has broken screenshot Quoted by the state-run China Daily. However, that line has since been removed.
Xinhua reported on Wednesday afternoon that “a large part of the downstream slope of the dam has collapsed, but the dam itself has not collapsed.”
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