IN-DEPTH / IN-DEPTH
Chinese unite to support rescue and evacuation efforts after parts of Henan are hit with flash floods
Combating nature
Published: Jul 21, 2021 11:03 PM
A policeman, in a yellow jacket with the Chinese characters

A policeman, in a yellow jacket with the Chinese characters "Rescue," directs traffic in a flooded road in Zhengzhou on Tuesday. The signs in red say "Danger." Photo: IC

The heaviest rainfall on record ravaged Central China's Henan Province, one of the most populous provinces with a population of 99 million people. Zhengzhou, the provincial capital, was one of the hardest-hit areas, literally turning into a sea of floods in just 24 hours. 

According to the Zhengzhou city government, from 8 pm Saturday to 8 pm Tuesday, average accumulated precipitation in the city had reached 449 millimeters, with hourly and daily precipitation both breaking the 60-year record, resulting in serious flooding. Water levels of several rivers have also risen above the alarming levels. Some reservoirs are at risk of collapse, with rail transport suspended and flights canceled.

As of 5 pm Wednesday, Henan Province had 1.24 million people seriously affected by the flooding, and nearly 160,000 people had been evacuated, rain-triggered disasters have caused at least 25 deaths and, 7 missing, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

Heavy rainfall hits Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province on Tuesday,  vehicles that are washed away by the floods piled up on top of each other on the flooded roads. Photo: VCG

Vehicles that are washed away by the flood piled up on top of each other on a flooded road in Zhengzhou on Tuesday. Photo: VCG

On Tuesday, many roads in Zhengzhou were seriously waterlogged; some vehicles were completely submerged. The public struggled to wade through the floodwater; some residents even tried to swim through waterlogged areas but were unable to do so because the water was too deep.

Two Global Times reporters who rushed to Zhengzhou found that currently in the downtown area, mud on main roads is being cleaned up, and water had receded from some overpasses. The city is gradually on its way back to normalcy. But in some low-lying areas, the water is still knee-deep. There aren't many pedestrians, and most shops remain closed.

The Heyi branch of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, which is located in the northern part of the city, witness a power outage during the torrential rainfall on Tuesday night. The hospital had transferred about 600 severe case-patients to other hospitals. 

The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University transfers patients in critical condition to other hospitals on Wednesday. Photo: Li Hao/GT

The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University transfers patients in critical condition to other hospitals on Wednesday, after the hospital witnesses power failure amid heavy rain. Photo: Li Hao/GT

As of 7 am Wednesday, Zhengzhou had deployed 305 flood control and rescue teams, with more than 20,000 people rushing to the frontline of the disaster relief, coordinating the transportation of various flood relief supplies. The PLA and Armed Police officers, and militia totalling 1,150 people went to the reservoirs and other danger zones to rescue and evacuate flood victims.

Facing the dangerous situation in Zhengzhou, Chinese Ministry of Emergency Management immediately started the cross-regional reinforcement plan for fire rescue teams. Professional water rescue teams from seven provinces have rushed to Henan overnight with 11 sets of remote water supply systems and more than 18,500 units of flood fighting and rescue equipment.

Currently, as the rescue operation is still under way, the development of the flood situation has continued to tug at the heartstrings of all Chinese people.

A government employee in Zhengzhou guides traffic through a waterlogged section of Huangyuan Road on Wednesday. Photo: VCG

A government employee in Zhengzhou guides traffic through a waterlogged section of Huangyuan Road on Wednesday. Photo: VCG

Traffic police repair traffic infrastructure toppled in the rain on Tuesday along Huayuan Road in Zhengzhou. Photo: Xinhua

Traffic police repair traffic infrastructure toppled in the rain on Tuesday along Huayuan Road in Zhengzhou. Photo: Xinhua

 


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