After torrential rains torment Henan province, 33 people are confirmed dead due to massive deluge.
By Donovan Martin Jr.
It is confirmed that over 33 people have died in the recent deluge in Henan, China’s central province. Around 617 millimetres of water fell on the province, nearly equaling Henan’s yearly average of 641 millimetres of rainfall. In Zhengzhou, Henan’s capital on the banks of the Yellow River, over 380,000 people had to be evacuated. Within the province, virtually all roads and railways were disrupted. Furthermore, Dams and reservoirs began to overflow, further increasing the devastation the water caused.
To help evacuate civilians, the Central Government and Henan Provincial Government organized flood control and relief efforts. Both the People’s Liberation Army and the People’s Armed Police were active in locating civilians in the riskiest areas and evacuating them. Despite this, 33 remain dead and hundreds suffer from casualties. Numerous casualties came from Zhengzhou’s subway system. Water was so high that over 500 people were trapped in the tunnels. Though many were saved, the deluge led to the untimely deaths of 12 individuals. Images on social media show images of brown, murky water up to people’s chests.
Many survivors recounted their horror stories to the describing vividly how fearful they were. “[The water was rising] from our ankles to our knees to our necks,” said one woman on Weibo, “All of us who could stood on the subway seats.”
When asked to comment on the state of Henan province, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, “In [this] time of disaster, our hearts go out to the people in affected areas. We believe that the people of Henan will tide over the disaster and do a good job in flood control and disaster relief as well as post-disaster recovery. The Chinese government gives top priority to the safety of people’s lives and property and treats foreign citizens in China as equals. So far, we have not received any reports of foreign casualties in Henan.”
As the rain in China starts to subside, civilians see the aftermath of the deluge. Henan, an agricultural hub, saw a loss of 12% of its acreage. Moreover, aluminum production and other metal processing have been halted. Though China was able to recover from such a terrible event, they are to become more common in our future. With the recent heat waves in North America and the flooding in Europe, it is not surprising that more palpable side effects of climate change begin to afflict Asia. If global efforts to combat this issue, fatal floods and devastating deluges may become the norm in scorching summers.