Central China's Henan witnesses heaviest rainfall in 60 years; 12 deaths reported
Published: Jul 20, 2021 11:56 PM Updated: Jul 21, 2021 10:59 AM
A man on Tuesday drives a motorbike through waist-high water after a night of rainstorms in Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan Province. Photo: IC

A man on Tuesday drives a motorbike through waist-high water after a night of rainstorms in Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan Province. Photo: IC

At least 12 people died from torrential rains in Central China's Henan Province, as of Tuesday, as the region witnesses its heaviest rainfall in 60 years. 

The State flood control and drought relief bureau has dispatched a work group to Henan, initiating a level III emergency response rescue work. About 849 people have been rescued, with 1,500 relocated as of press time.

The maximum precipitation in Zhengzhou reached 201.9 millimeters per hour, breaking the previous record of 198.5 millimeters in 1975, according to the national meteorological observatory. 

From 8 pm Saturday to 8 pm Tuesday, precipitation in Zhengzhou had reached 617.1 millimeters with hourly and daily precipitation both breaking 60-year records, according to media reports.  

The average yearly precipitation in Zhengzhou is 640.8 millimeters. 

The rain was induced by Typhoon In-Fa, experts said. 

A local resident surnamed Jiang in Zhengzhou told the Global Times that the residential compound where he lives is without electricity and water, and he said local residents did not expect such heavy rain.

"Luckily, I have stocked up some food and water, so that I can get through such extreme weather," he said.

A red alert has been issued. Zhengzhou authorities have enhanced surveillance to local rivers, reservoirs and infrastructure construction, and have suspended the operations of companies at risk and those with furnaces to prevent accidents.  

Media reported that 1,102 families and 3,620 residents have been evacuated as of Tuesday. 

Some passengers were trapped in the Line 5 subway in Zhengzhou by waist-high floods on Tuesday afternoon, media reported.  

Rescuers noted that the water has subsided in the subway and all passengers were safe.

Another resident surnamed Lü in Zhengzhou told the Global Times that she stayed at home for two days because of the heavy rain. As it is forecasted that the rain won't stop on Wednesday, she plans to stay at home for another day. 

Lü said that two elevators in the building where she lives had stop operation. Living on the 13th floor, she needs to walk down stairs to check whether the underground parking garage has been flooded. 

A video provided by Lü showed that the garage has been flooded and the water was ankle-high. "I  drove the car to higher ground to prevent it from being flooded," Lü said.

More than 144,660 residents have been affected by torrential rains in Henan since July 16, and 10,152 have been relocated to safe ground, the Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday, citing the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

Water levels at 16 large and medium-sized reservoirs have risen above the alert level after torrential rains battered most of the province on Monday and Tuesday.

Floods have damaged 9,222 hectares of crops, causing losses estimated at 73 million yuan ($11.3 million).

Heavy rains are expected to lash the central, western and northern areas of the province in the next 24 hours, according to forecasts.