Passengers stuck in submerged waters in Hainan province (Photo: CNN)
ZHENGZHOU: Torrential rain has affected about 3 million people in central China’s Henan Province, with 33 reported dead and eight still missing as of 4 am Thursday, local authorities said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday described the situation as “very severe” as record-breaking rains devastated parts of Henan province, and ordered authorities to “prioritize the safety of people’s lives and property”, state news agency Xinhua reported.
Footage broadcast by Xinhua and shared widely online showed passengers in Zhengzhou trapped inside a flooded subway car, packed tightly together as the water rises.
Outside the window, dark floodwater rips past, surging down the subway tracks. Terrified subway passengers were left clinging to ceiling handles inside flooded cars on Tuesday, trapped up to their necks in rising water, reported CNN.
Many of those trapped posted calls for help on social media, according to screenshots circulated online and statements from the Henan fire department.
The city’s subway system, which contains seven lines and 153 stations, suspended all operations after the incident, said provincial authorities, reported CNN. Other videos showed residents on the street, water up to their hips, working desperately to pull out people trapped in an underground mall using ropes.
Others showed people making a human chain, to prevent being swept away by the current as they struggled through rushing water.
A total of 376,000 local residents have been relocated to safe places, said the provincial emergency management department.
Rainwater has damaged more than 215,200 hectares of crops, causing a direct economic loss of about 1.22 billion yuan (about 188.6 million US dollars).