Twelve people died after torrential rains flooded the subway in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, authorities said Wednesday, as shocking images of passengers struggling against neck-high water inside a train carriage emerged on social media.
The city ‘has experienced a series of rare and heavy rainstorms, causing water to accumulate in Zhengzhou metro’, city officials said in a Weibo post, adding 12 people died and five were injured.
Local media reported earlier that two people had been killed when a wall collapsed in another district of the city.
According to the Zhengzhou weather authorities, the rainfall was the highest recorded since records began sixty years ago.
Passengers trapped on trains on the flooded Zhengzhou underground network yesterday. Shocking videos showed several trains caught in rising water
Videos on social media showed passengers in a flooded underground train carriage in central Zhengzhou clinging to handles as the water surged to shoulder height, with some standing on seats
Passengers from one of the stranded trains were led to safety along the trackside as flood torrents gushed past their feet
At least one person died and two more were missing since heavy rain began battering Zhengzhou on Monday, according to the state-run People’s Daily, which reported that houses have collapsed
A Chinese city hit by torrential storms that killed at least 12 people closed its flooded subway system on Tuesday and cancelled hundreds of flights, as it braces for further severe downpours
Videos on social media showed passengers in a flooded underground train carriage in central Zhengzhou clinging to handles as the water surged to shoulder height, with some standing on seats.
Water could be seen gushing through an empty underground platform in state broadcaster CCTV’s footage.
The city’s subway operator said in a statement on Tuesday that it would close all stations on all its lines due to the bad weather.
On its official Weibo account, the fire service shared reports that passengers were being rescued from stranded trains, but did not post its own statement.
One passenger’s account said fire and rescue workers had opened a hole in the roof of her carriage and evacuated passengers one by one.
Citizens braced with umbrellas and rain ponchos wade through knee-deep flood waters in the region of Zhengzhou
A view of a flooded road after downpours in Zhengzhou city in central China’s Henan province on Tuesday
Weather authorities have issued the highest warning level for central Henan province as CCTV showed submerged cars, shuttered shops and residents of flooded streets being rescued in rafts, one clutching a baby.
Footage showed one man sitting on top of his half-submerged car in an underpass.
More than 10,000 people had been evacuated as of Tuesday afternoon, said provincial authorities, warning that 16 reservoirs had seen water rise to dangerous levels as downpours ruined thousands of acres of crops and caused damage amounting to around $11million.
Around 260 flights have been cancelled.
Floods are common during China’s rainy season, which causes annual chaos and washes away roads, crops and houses.
But the threat has worsened over the decades, due in part to widespread construction of dams and levees that have cut connections between the river and adjacent lakes and disrupt floodplains that had helped absorb the summer surge.
Earlier this month hundreds of flights were cancelled in the capital Beijing and other nearby cities with schools and tourist sites closed as torrential downpours and gale-force winds battered the region.
People move through flood water after a heavy downpour in Zhengzhou city, braced with umbrellas and rain coats