Heavy rains forced the closure of the metro system in Zhengzhou, the capital of China’s Henan province, on Tuesday, leaving commuters stranded.
Riders posted videos on social media as they waited for rescue in waist-high muddy water. A passenger named Xiaopei posted on Weibo that “the water in the car has reached (his) chest.”
So far around 300 people have been rescued, and an unknown number are trapped.
Local media outlets reported that the flood waters on the train were receding.
Henan province, home to some 94 million people, has received heavy rains over the past week. On Tuesday, the region’s meteorological center issued the highest danger level, a red alert, as rain is expected to continue for the next 24 hours, Reuters reported.
A representative of Xu Lii City, a member of the Standing Committee of the Henan Provincial Party Committee and secretary of the Zhengzhou Municipal Party Committee, said the high level of precipitation was unusual.
Extreme weather events have increased in China this summer, with recent floods in Sichuan province killing hundreds of civilians and forcing thousands to evacuate the region. Officials from environmental group Greenpeace International have warned that China’s rapid urbanization will increase the frequency of climate disasters.
Speaking to Chinese media, Greenpeace’s Liu Junyan said, “Due to highly concentrated population, infrastructure and economic activity, urban areas are at greater risk and vulnerability to climate hazards.”
This report contains information from Reuters.