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China flooding: Military blasts dam to divert flood water amid rescue for 1.2 million displaced

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Rory Sullivan,Jane Dalton
Wednesday 21 July 2021 18:44 BST
Drone footage shows inundated Chinese city after deadly floods

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China’s military has blasted a dam to release floodwaters threatening one of its most heavily populated provinces, as the death toll in widespread flooding rose to at least 25.

The dam operation, in the city of Luoyang, was carried out just as the heaviest rain in a millennium overwhelmed Henan’s provincial capital, Zhengzhou, trapping residents in the underground system and stranding them at schools, apartments and offices.

Another seven people were reported missing, officials said.

A video showed underground passengers standing in chest-high muddy brown water as torrents raged in the tunnel outside.

Rain turned streets into rapidly flowing rivers, washed away cars and flooded homes.

A blackout shut down ventilators at a hospital, forcing staff to use hand-pumped airbags to help patients breathe, according to the city’s Communist Party committee.

The flooding happened just as China came under pressure from US climate envoy John Kerry, who called on the country’s leaders to intensify their action to curb the climate crisis.

Without sufficient emissions reductions by China, Mr Kerry said, the global goal of keeping temperatures under 1.5C was “essentially impossible”.


Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the deadly floods in China.

Rory Sullivan21 July 2021 09:08

12 dead and 100,000 evacuated in Henan province

At least 12 people have died and more than 100,000 people have been evacuated after severe flooding in Zhengzhou, China.

This came after the city, which has 12 million residents, experienced almost a year’s worth of rain in the three days to Tuesday.

Meteorologists have described the amount of rainfall as a “once in a thousand years” event.

Horrifying footage shows flooded subway with neck-high water in China

Zhengzhou receives its typical annual rainfall in just three days, as city hit by floods seen only ‘once in a thousand years’

Rory Sullivan21 July 2021 09:12

Passengers rescued from flooded underground station

Passengers were stranded in a subway station in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou after it became flooded following heavy rainfall.

Footage shows firefighters rescuing people, who were up to their waists in water.

Sophie Wingate reports:

Watch: Passengers trapped in flooded China subway station rescued by firefighters

Shocking footage shows a subway station in Zhengzhou, the capital of central China’s Henan province, completely inundated as deadly flooding hit the region.Passengers are seen wading through waist-high water along the tracks, while firefighters rescue people on inflatable dinghies.The floods, caused by record-breaking rainfall, have left at least 12 people dead and more than 100,000 evacuated from their homes in the city. Authorities have issued the highest level of weather warning for Henan, a tourist and logistics hub that is home to some 94 million people.It comes after devastating flooding also battered Germany, Belgium and other countries.

Rory Sullivan21 July 2021 09:25

Severe flooding in Zhengzhou

Videos and photos from Henan province show how severe the flooding is there.

Here is a small selection:

Rory Sullivan21 July 2021 09:38

Chinese military blasts dam to divert flood

The Chinese military has blasted a dam in Henan province to divert floodwater.

The operation took place late on Tuesday in the city of Luoyang.

China blasts dam to divert floods that killed at least 12

China's military has blasted a dam to release floodwaters threatening one of its most heavily populated provinces

Rory Sullivan21 July 2021 09:50

Sign up to The Independent’s free virtual event on extreme weather

Extreme weather events are more prevalent than ever.

In just the last week, scores of people died in flooding in Germany, while 12 deaths have been confirmed in China’s floods.

Hear from our panel of experts about the role the climate crisis is playing in these and other extreme weather events.

The event will take place at 6.30-7.30pm UK time on Wednesday 28 July. Sign up for your free tickets here:

Sign up to The Independent’s virtual climate crisis event on extreme weather

In the wake of a record-breaking worldwide heatwave, The Independent gathers experts to discuss how the climate crisis is supercharging extreme weather events

Rory Sullivan21 July 2021 10:07

Hospital rushes to relocate critically ill patients after losing power

A hospital in Zhengzhou is rushing to rehouse 600 critically ill patients after losing all power on Wednesday due to the floods, according to the People’s Daily.

The First Affiliated Hospital, the facility affected, has more than 7,000 beds.

Rain will continue to fall in Henan province for the next three days, with heavy precipitation expected on Wednesday.

Rory Sullivan21 July 2021 10:22

More shocking images from Zhengzhou

Most of the 12 deaths confirmed in Zhengzhou occurred in submerged underground stations, it has been reported.

Al Jazeera’s Katrina Yu tweeted this earlier today:

Rory Sullivan21 July 2021 10:36

Aluminium factory explodes after flooding

An aluminium alloy factory in the Chinese city of Dengfeng exploded on Tuesday after being being submerged by floodwater.

Local authorities said the blast occurred after the water spread into a high-temperature solution.

“I heard a loud explosion while still in bed this morning. It shook my windows and gave me a huge fright. I thought it couldn’t have been thunder,” a local resident toldThe Beijing News.

Peony Hirwani has more details:

Dramatic video shows explosion at Chinese aluminium factory after it became inundated with floodwater

Footage shows the sky turning yellow as the explosion throws a fireball up into the air

Rory Sullivan21 July 2021 10:53

Death toll rises to 18, report suggests

A total of 18 people have died and a further 200,000 people have been displaced by flooding in central China, according to the South China Morning Post.

The news comes as rain continues to fall in the beleaguered province of Henan.

Rory Sullivan21 July 2021 11:10

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