CHINA / SOCIETY
Death toll rises to 69 in Henan after heavy rain, with five still missing
Published: Jul 27, 2021 12:20 AM
Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan Province Photo: VCG

Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan Province Photo: VCG



At least 69 people were reported dead with five still missing as of 12 am on Monday, after heavy downpours and floods in Central China's Henan Province.

Zhengzhou, Xinxiang, Anyang and Hebi, the four worst-affected cities in Henan, are on their way back to normal life. Dirty water on roads and tunnels is being pumped out in Zhengzhou and Xinxiang, and the electricity, communication, water, natural gas, and urban public transport in most of the main urban areas in the four cities have been repaired.

In Zhengzhou, the first city to be hit by the downpours, 330 of the city's 339 bus lines have resumed service. The city's metro is still out of service. One more person was found dead in the subway tunnel of Line 5 by rescuers on Sunday.

The metro authority said on Thursday that 12 people have been found dead because of the heavy rains on Tuesday, when passengers were trapped. Over 500 were rescued.

As of 11 pm on Sunday, the pumping of dirty water from Jingguang Tunnel was completed. Six victims were reported dead as of press time. The place has attracted much attention from the public in recent days, with rescuers having dragged out 249 vehicles from three parts of the tunnel after five days of work.

Since July 16, the heavy rainfall has caused damage in 1,558 towns in 150 counties and districts in the province, affecting over 12.9 million people as of 12am Monday, the provincial government said at a press conference on Monday afternoon.

Over 675,500 people were temporarily evacuated, and at least 872,900 people have been relocated, the provincial government said. About 157,300 people are in need of emergency living assistance.

Over 972,100 hectares of crops have been damaged, among which over 108,000 hectares will not yield any harvest at all, following the disaster. The direct economic losses have risen to about 71.53 billion yuan ($11.03 billion).

"We are deeply saddened by the heavy casualties caused by the recent heavy rainfall in Henan and other places. We express deep condolences to the victims and sympathy to the injured and their families," Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at an online meeting on flood relief and flood control at the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Monday.

Li said that to support the areas hit by heavy rainfall, the central government will allocate several billion yuan from the government reserve fund, and further support will be provided.

Local governments should also allocate special funds. At the same time, public donations should be used in an open and transparent way, Li noted.
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