• Monday, Sep 27, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:58 am

Death toll from Henan floods rises to 71 as China braces for more rain

  • Published at 10:11 pm July 27th, 2021
China flood
Men stand on a vehicle on a flooded road following heavy rainfall in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China, July 23, 2021 Reuters

Images of passengers inundated by shoulder-height water went viral on Chinese social media

The death toll from floods in central China's Henan province rose to 71 on Tuesday as a tribute at a subway where 14 people died was sealed off in a sign of sensitivity to public criticism of the government's handling of the disaster.

Torrential downpours dumped a year's rain in just three days last week on the hardest-hit city of Zhengzhou, flooding subway cars and trapping more than 500 commuters during rush hour on last Tuesday.

Images of passengers inundated by shoulder-height water went viral on Chinese social media. 

The city government announced on Tuesday the names of those who perished in the subway, a rare attempt at transparency after people started leaving flowers at the entrance to the station. 

"Extreme rains caused severe water logging in parts of subway line 5, and the retaining walls that protected the subway lines crumbled," the government statement said.

Subway guards eventually blocked access to the floral tribute, but a video published by state-run West China Metropolis Daily on Tuesday showed a group of people pushing aside the yellow barricades on Monday night chanting "let the spirits of those who died come back home!"

One of the victims, identified in the official list by his last name Sha, was days short of his 34th birthday.

"Who would have thought that you were only one stop away from home, but you will never come back again," his wife wrote on China's twitter-like Weibo.

Sha's wife, who declined to give her name, told Jimu news that she was suing the metro operator for negligence.

Foreign journalists covering the floods have been harassed online and, on the ground, as sensitivity towards any negative portrayal of China mounts. 

Reporters from AFP were forced to delete footage by hostile residents and surrounded by dozens of men while reporting on a submerged traffic tunnel in Zhengzhou.

Heavy downpours that began July 17 have affected almost 13 million people, damaged nearly 9,000 homes and caused economic losses in Henan estimated at $2 billion.

Forecasters said on Tuesday more heavy rain is expected as the remnants of Typhoon In Fa pass through the area.

Cities still reeling from the last week's floods, including Xinxiang, Hebi and Anyang, are likely to see the heaviest downpours from July 27 to 29, Henan's meteorological observatory said in a statement.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail