PLA soldiers, rescuers from adjacent provinces rush to provide relief
Published: Jul 21, 2021 01:54 AM
Firefighters in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province depart for Henan on Wednesday for rescue work. Photo: cnsphotos

Firefighters in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province depart for Henan on Wednesday for rescue work. Photo: cnsphotos

The heaviest rain in decades in Zhengzhou has not only affected residents in the city, but also grasped the hearts of the whole nation, as at least seven provinces as well as the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) have dispatched rescue teams to help Henan tackle its worst rainfall. 

The PLA is the first to have taken action. The PLA Central Theater Command said late Tuesday on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo platform that they had sent a professional flood control and emergency rescue brigade to a dam in Yichuan county, Zhengzhou, which was under threat of collapse due to serious damage caused by rain.

The command made the announcement on Sina Weibo, saying that a 20 meter-long crevasse had appeared in the dam, and the dam could collapse any time.

The brigade previously managed rescue operations in the 1998 floods and the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, the command said.

Two hundred PLA Rocket Force soldiers, carrying tools and kayaks, were dispatched on Wednesday to rescue people trapped in many parts of Henan.

The soldiers on Wednesday helped transfer 500 children in the Zhengzhou charity house immediately after their arrival, after which they went to a local hospital to help transfer patients and medical workers, according to the Weibo account of the PLA Central Threater Command.

On the same day, the Chinese Ministry of Emergency Management also sent about 1,800 rescuers with 250 vessels, seven drainage vehicles, 11 sets of remote water supply systems and 18,500 pieces of rescue equipment from seven provinces to Henan. 

The provinces include Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong and Hubei, which received nationwide support during the deadly COVID-19 epidemic in early 2020.

Civil rescue forces also responded. Nearly 100 rescuers of the Beijing Blue Sky Rescue Team reportedly left for Henan on Wednesday. 

Major companies like ByteDance and Tencent also announced donations of money or materials for disaster relief. 

Chinese netizens are also praying for Zhengzhou and Henan on the internet. 

Hashtags like "Chinese people always help each other when facing disasters!" have been viewed for nearly 300 million times on Weibo as of late Wednesday.

Global Times