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Twelve dead after record-breaking China rains flood railway tunnels; trapped commuters said waters rose from ‘our ankles to our knees to our necks’

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Twelve people died after record-breaking rainfall in China flooded railway tunnels and trapped commuters as waters rose everywhere, BBC News reported.

What are the details?

Videos showed evening commuters trying to keep their heads above rising water, the outlet said.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

The clip also showed floodwaters bursting through an entryway and onto commuter platforms.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

BBC News said more than 500 people were rescued from the railway tunnels in Henan province, and days of rain led to 200,000 evacuations and widespread damage.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

More from the outlet:

Above ground, roads have been turned into rivers, with cars and debris swept along in fast moving currents. A number of pedestrians have had to be rescued.

In total, 25 people have died in Henan province and more than a dozen cities are affected. President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that there had been “significant loss of life and damage to property.”

Several dams and reservoirs have breached warning levels, and soldiers have been mobilized to divert rivers which have burst their banks. Flights and trains in many parts of Henan have also been suspended.

In the provincial capital Zhengzhou, the equivalent of a year’s average rainfall has fallen in just three days.

BBC News said some of the city’s flood defenses were overwhelmed, after which water began flowing into the railway tunnels. Survivors said water leaked through train doors, rising slowly from “our ankles to our knees to our necks,” the outlet reported.

“All of us who could, stood on the subway seats,” one woman wrote on the Chinese social network site Weibo, BBC News said, adding that parents lifted their children out of the water while others threw off anything that might hold them down.

One passenger said after about 30 minutes it became “hard to breathe,” the outlet added.

BBC News, citing a statement from Zhengzhou government officials, reported that the train line was shut down to enable evacuations, and five people were being treated for injuries, while 12 died.

Nursery school rescue

The outlet also said children had to be rescued from a flooded nursery school as state media aired video of them being floated out in plastic tubs.

“Never in my life had I seen so much rain,” one witness said, according to BBC News. “There was one hour where the rain was just pouring down on us from the heavens, and everything went completely white.”

Dam in danger of collapsing

To make matters worse, storm damage left a 65-foot breach in a Luoyang city dam, which army officials said could “collapse at any time,” the outlet added.

And residents in Sishui were stuck on rooftops, BBC News also reported, with one witness writing on social media, “We don’t know how to swim … the whole village is about to be washed away.”

What’s the background?

Henan province has experienced “rare and severe rainfall” since Saturday, the outlet reported, citing China’s meteorological authority.

Zhengzhou saw almost 25 inches of rainfall on Tuesday alone, with a third of that amount falling in just one hour — an event that “smashed historical records,” BBC News added.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

The outlet also said forecasts said parts of the region would continue to see “severe or extremely severe storms” and that the heavy rain was likely to end only on Thursday.

Science reported, adding that at least 196 people died as of Tuesday.


Twelve die as rain floods train tunnel in China – BBC News

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