In the wake of the unprecedented rainstorms across central China, tens of thousands of people have been evacuated on Thursday as officials raised the death toll to 33 for the Henan province, according to Reuters.
Entire blocks of Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, are still submerged after "once in 5,000 years" rainstorms from Sunday to Tuesday devastated the metro area and other surrounding areas. Zhengzhou received eight months of rain within 24 hours earlier this week which triggered flash floods.
State broadcaster CCTV said Thursday the death toll stands at 33, with eight people missing across Henan. So far, 376,000 people have been evacuated in the province. The economic cost is estimated around Rmb1.2bn ($186m), but that figure is expected to rise.
#China🇨🇳: According to local authorities, more than 500 people have been evacuated from 4 flooded counties in northern #Henan as of Thursday morning.— Wᵒˡᵛᵉʳᶤᶰᵉ Uᵖᵈᵃᵗᵉˢ𖤐 (@W0lverineupdate) July 22, 2021
No more details (🎥Weibo) pic.twitter.com/k8KB3xQeNb
#RT @XHNews: Xinxiang Medical University, located in central China's Henan Province, has dispatched a forklift to transport free supplies for more than 400 graduate students trapped in floods on campus.#GLOBALink pic.twitter.com/xXkXZExZ9I— Tony De Vos (@milou1st) July 22, 2021
On July 20th, 2021, the heaviest rainfall ever seen in China fell in Zhengzhou, Henan Province.— Things China Doesn't Want You To Know (@TruthAbtChina) July 22, 2021
An entire year's worth of rain fell in 24 hours. Eight inches of water fell in 1 hour.
According to official reports, almost the entire city of over 10 million people is under water. pic.twitter.com/ol26Hd78FB
Storm alerts on Thursday were declared in four cities just north of Henan - Xinxiang, Anyang, Hebi, and Jiaozuo.
More than 73,000 people were being evacuated from the city of Anyang, on Henan's border with Hebei province. The city has received 24 inches of rain since Monday.
Xinxiang, a small city north of Zhengzhou, recorded 32 inches of rainfall between Tuesday and Thursday, breaking local meteorological records. This caused medium-sized reservoirs to overflow, affecting nearby towns.
As of Wednesday night, 470,000 people and over 55,000 hectares have been affected by torrential historic rains. The government has deployed 76,000 search and rescuers.
Floodwaters in some areas retreated Thursday, and the devastation is only now be recognized. Vehicles and building structures have been submerged, and the economic damage is likely to rise.
Here's additional coverage on the historic rainstorms:
- Dozens Killed After China's Henan Hit With Worst Rainstorms In 1,000 Years
- Watch: Chinese Subway Passengers Trapped In Chest-High Floodwaters As Heavy Rains Pound Henan Province
Like much of China, Henan province is filled with complex rivers, dams, and reservoirs, many constructed decades ago to manage floodwaters. Officials in the province are increasing safety checks at dams.
Another batch of rainstorms could be headed to Henan early next week as Typhoon In-Fa hones in on China's southeastern coastline this weekend.