Residents of the storm-hit city of Zhengzhou in central China Thursday shoveled mud from their homes and dragged damaged cars and piles of crushed goods after floods that killed at least 33 people in the city and its surroundings.
Rain continued to lash parts of Henan province of which Zhengzhou is the capital.
Streets have turned into rivers and people are stranded in apartments, offices, hotels and country houses in dozens of cities and towns.
In the worst incident in Zhengzhou, 12 people died Tuesday night in a flooded subway system.
Eight others are still missing in the floods, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The storm’s front is now shifting northeast of Henan, affecting cities including Hebi, Anyang and Xinxiang, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
Xinxiang experienced the heaviest rainfall in recorded history, with water levels exceeding 25 centimeters in the 19 hours between Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon, according to the city’s weather agency. The local government urges people not to leave their homes if they don’t have to.
Residents turned to social media for help when lakes and rivers overflowed and waterways and electricity went out. There is no outside help and residents rely on themselves, the post said.
Public transport in Anyang has already been suspended and people have been asked to work from home on Thursday, CCTV reports said.
Zhengzhou, a city of 12 million people, experienced drier conditions Thursday even though large parts of the city were still under water. In addition to flooding underground electric train stations and leaving carriages stranded, the rain also collapsed roads and disrupted rail and air transportation.
Water, electricity and gas supplies were also cut off and more than 40 emergency sites were set up in the city to provide clean water.
Zhengzhou is a major hub of China’s rail network and some trains have been stuck on the tracks for 40 hours, prompting rescue teams to deliver food and water to passengers. Some passengers were able to return to their point of departure, while other passengers had to be rescued at the point where they were stranded, according to local newspaper Henan Daily. [my/jm]