Chinese cities under water as river banks burst

Published July 21, 2021
VEHICLES are stranded after a downpour in Zhengzhou on Tuesday.—AP
VEHICLES are stranded after a downpour in Zhengzhou on Tuesday.—AP

BEIJING: Heavy rain pounded the central Chinese province of Henan on Tuesday, bursting the banks of major rivers, flooding the streets of a dozen cities and shutting the world-famous Shaolin Temple.

Henan, a populous province double the size of Austria, has been hit by storms since the weekend in an unusually active rainy season.

No deaths or casualties have been reported, but the daily lives of the province’s 94 million people have been upended by transport closures.

In Henan, a major logistics hub, train services were suspended, while many highways were closed and flights delayed or cancelled.

In the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, by the banks of the Yellow River, residents waded through knee-high water to cross submerged street intersections, state television showed.

In Ruzhou, a city southwest of Zhengzhou, streets have been turned into torrents, sweeping away cars and other vehicles, footage on social media showed.

A rising Yi River also threatened to hit the Longmen Grottoes, a Unesco World Heritage site featuring millennium-old Buddhist statues etched into limestone cliffs near the city of Luoyang.

Like the Longmen Grottoes, the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng city, famous in the West for its martial arts, has been temporarily shut.

Also in Dengfeng, an aluminium alloy plant exploded on Tuesday as water from a river surged into the factory.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2021

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