Villagers flee fresh floods in central China as typhoon approaches

Published July 24, 2021
Carrying a child and belongings, a woman wades through floodwaters on Friday following heavy rain in China’s Henan province.—Reuters
Carrying a child and belongings, a woman wades through floodwaters on Friday following heavy rain in China’s Henan province.—Reuters

ZHENGZHOU: Villagers were evacuated over makeshift bridges on Friday as floods submerged swathes of central China following a historic deluge that claimed at least 56 lives — while an approaching typhoon threatened to dump more rain on the stricken area.

Millions have been affected by the floods in Henan province, which have trapped people for days without fresh food or water and blocked roads as they breached embankments, caking large areas in thick ankle-deep mud.

The death toll is expected to rise, with provincial officials telling reporters Friday that casualties were still being counted.

Adding to the misery, Typhoon In-Fa is forecast to bring further torrential downpours to parts of Henan in the coming days, state media said.

In the worst-hit city of Zhengzhou, firefighters Friday continued to pump muddy water from tunnels, including from a subway where at least a dozen people drowned inside a train earlier in the week as a year’s worth of rainfall fell in just three days.

Overnight, heavy rain saw floods surge northwards to the city of Xinxiang and surrounding areas, where vast tracts of farmland were inundated and the town cut off as the Wei River burst its banks.

“We were at my grandmother’s and then the water suddenly rose... the building was surrounded by water,” said Sun Haocun in the town of Weihui, who was rescued in a dinghy by a team of volunteers.

Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2021

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