Torrential rains are wreaking havoc in the Henan province of China. Devastating floods have already killed 33 people. The rain is expected to continue due to a strengthening typhoon east of Taiwan.
The region has already seen a year's worth of rainfall in three days. Meteorological bodies are calling it a once-in-a-thousand-year weather event. The rainfall has already broken hourly and daily records of the past seven decades. Dozens of counties are seeing overflowing reservoirs, submerged roads, and vehicles being washed away, reported The Guardian.
The capital city of the province, Zhengzhou has taken a hit to infrastructure. A record-breaking rainstorm flooded the city's streets and subway and caused damage to reservoirs and dams. The city also has collapsed roads and power outages in many areas including hospitals.
The Chinese government ordered local governing bodies to take immediate measures to urban flood controls and emergency responses. The ministry asked local authorities in an official statement to suspend trains, evacuate passengers, and close stations during excessively intense storms.
About 200,000 people are being displaced by the rain and floods. Over three million people are being affected. 13 construction workers died trapped in a flooded tunnel in Guangdong. 12 other deaths were reported in the subway where about 1000 people were trapped in train carriages.
Local authorities said that heavy rain caused water to accumulate in a parking lot near Line 5 of the metro and broke through a retainer wall. This led to flooding in the tunnels and killing five people near Haitansi stations.
The public has begun to question how ready authorities are for such a disaster. The Henan disaster has led to questions about inaccurate weather forecasts and the government's decision to keep the subway operating, said The Guardian report.
State-owned publication, Global Times, said that it was "absolutely impossible to keep Zhengzhou from flooding" in such heavy rains but greater mitigation efforts were needed to reduce the loss of life.