Dozens Killed After China’s Henan Hit With Worst Rainstorms In 1,000 Years
Large areas of China’s central Henan province were inundated with floodwaters on Wednesday following the worst rainfall in 1,000 years, according to Reuters.
From Saturday to Tuesday, 26.5 inches of rain fell on Zhengzhou, surpassing the annual average of around 24 inches. Just on Tuesday, 8.2 inches fell in a single hour.
Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan, is a massive industrial hub. The largest iPhone assembly plant, operated by Foxconn, said operations have yet to be affected. They released a statement that said: “no direct impact on our facility in that location to date,” adding it was closely monitoring the situation.
However, Nissan Motor halted production at its facility due to devastating floodwaters. The extent of the damage to businesses in the city and across the province is unknown.
— 林才竣Michael备用号 (@Michael98060835) July 20, 2021
The city’s transportation network has come to a screeching halt as the metro system was closed on Tuesday after roads and tunnels were flooded.
BREAKING NEWS: Dozens of people are believed to have drowned in the city of #Zhengzhou, China, with people trapped in underground stations and cars after extremely heavy downpours hit the city. Situation is unfolding. Lots of videos showing victims#郑州 pic.twitter.com/6RFT01d23U
— Just Info (@JustInfoUS) July 20, 2021
We noted Tuesday night, yet, another dam, this time in Zhengzhou, collapsed, the third in 48 hours, after rising water levels spilled over the dam’s crest and weakened the structure, resulting in a structural failure.
— GeopoliticalUpdates (@GeopolUpdates) July 21, 2021
The dam is the third to fail in recent days: over the weekend, two dams in Hulun Buir City in North China’s Inner Mongolia collapsed due to severe rain.
China’s Ministry of Water Resources has warned of possible #floods in the #Henan segment of the Yellow River. Water authorities have already reported a large-scale collapse in the downstream slope of the Guojiazui Reservoir in Zhengzhou, but no dam break has been detected yet. https://t.co/N174oA0b4P pic.twitter.com/kjO6HExhjk
— CGTN Global Watch (@GlobalWatchCGTN) July 21, 2021
Meanwhile, dozens of reservoirs and dams have hit emergency high water levels prompting authorities to evacuate more than 100,000 people. There’s still an additional risk of other dams collapsing.
Reuters notes the rainstorms are the worst in 1,000 years. More than 6,000 military and fire service personnel are involved in rescue operations.
Here’s more video of the devastation across Zhengzhou.
During China’s rainy season, floods are frequent, causing annual destruction and washing away highways, crops, and homes. However, the threat has grown over time, partially due to the extensive construction of dams and levees that have cut connections between rivers and lakes and altered floodplains that had helped absorb the surge.
Zhengzhou is flood-prone as it sits in a low-lying area though the local government has beefed up surrounding infrastructure to ensure torrential rains don’t result in flood-outs – that appears to have failed.
Millions of people have been upended in the city as floodwaters result in closed transportation networks, delayed flights, damage to critical infrastructure and commercial and residential structures.