Record rains kill 25 in central China as situation gets ‘extremely severe’

At least 25 people have died, including a dozen passengers trapped in a flooded subway after torrential rains took over central China.

President Xi Jinping described the situation as “extremely severe” with flood control measures entering a “critical stage”, state media reported.

Approximately 200,000 residents were evacuated in Zhengzhou, local government officials said. 

The rainfall in the region was the heaviest since record-keeping began 60 years ago as scientists say climate change is worsening flooding around the world.

At least four were killed in nearby Gongyi city where houses and walls have collapsed.

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Li Rongguang, a woman in her sixties, told AFP she came to Zhengzhou to see a doctor but was stranded when trains were halted due to the storm.

“I want to get home as soon as possible,” she told AFP, sitting by the side of the road. “I can’t take this anymore.”
Authorities have issued the highest warning level for Henan province as floods continue to hammer the region.

The statement said “key protected cultural relics suffered varying degrees of water damage,” but said they were now safe, without providing precise details.

Thousands of soldiers have been deployed to other rivers nearby to reinforce embankments with sandbags

“Some reservoirs had their dams burst… causing serious injury, loss of life and property damage,” Xi Jinping said, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

“We have already entered the critical stage of flood control, leaders and cadres from all walks of life must… take the lead in commanding, quickly organise forces for flood protection and disaster rescue.”

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