Heavy rain forced the subway system in Zhengzhou, the capital of China’s Henan Province, to close on Tuesday, July 20, leaving passengers stranded.
Passengers posted videos on social media as they waited for search and rescue teams in waist-deep muddy water. A passenger named Xiaopei posted on Weibo that “the water on the train had reached (their) chest.”
So far about 300 people have been rescued, but it is not yet known how many more are still trapped.
Various local media channels reported that the floodwaters were receding.
Henan province, which has a population of about 94 million people, has experienced heavy rains over the past week. News agency Reuters reported that on Tuesday (20/7), the region’s meteorological station issued its highest alert level, a red warning, as rain is expected to continue for the next 24 hours.
Extreme weather events have spiked this summer in China, with recent flooding in Sichuan Province killing hundreds of people and forcing thousands to flee the area.
Officials from Greenpeace International, an environmental group, warn that China’s rapid urbanization will increase the frequency of climate-related natural disasters.
Speaking to Chinese media, Liu Junyan of Greenpeace said “due to highly concentrated populations, infrastructure and economic activities, exposure and vulnerability to climate hazards is higher in urban areas.” [lt/em]