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China Floods The Military Blows Up A Dam To Let Water Out As The Death Toll Rises

As the death toll from extensive flooding rose to at least 25 and was projected to rise higher, China’s military blew up a dam to unleash water threatening one of the country’s most densely populated regions.
The dam was built near Luoyang late Tuesday night, just as catastrophic flooding engulfed Zhengzhou, the provincial capital, trapping citizens in the subway system and stranding them in schools, apartments, and offices.
At a news conference on Wednesday night, provincial officials said that seven more persons had gone missing.
On Thursday, the death toll was anticipated to grow as rescue efforts continued in the ravaged region, which received a year’s worth of rain – 640mm (25in) – in only three days.
The downpour was described as “unprecedented” in the last “1,000 years” by Chinese media.
Experts fear that, given the magnitude of the devastation, post-disaster recovery may be particularly difficult for one of China’s most populous provinces.
Zhengzhou alone has a population of 12 million people, with initial estimates putting the number of people directly affected by the water at 1.2 million.
The Paper, a news site, released a video on Twitter showing metro commuters standing in chest-high dirty brown water as torrents raged outside the tunnel.
People in Zhengzhou wade amid floodwaters.
Rain has turned streets into fast-flowing rivers, washing cars away and rising into people’s houses, disrupting transportation and work across the province. Photograph: Stringer./Reuters
According to Caixin, a business news magazine, at least ten trains carrying about 10,000 passengers were delayed, three of which were halted for more than 40 hours.
The rain forced the closure of sections of 26 motorways, according to the transport ministry’s social media account.
According to the city’s Communist party committee, a blackout cut off ventilators at Zhengzhou University’s First Affiliated hospital, forcing staff to rely on hand-pumped airbags to help patients breathe.
More than 600 patients were being moved to different hospitals, according to the report.
According to the Henan Business Daily newspaper, a woman aboard a subway in a flooded tunnel told her husband that the water had almost reached her neck and that passengers were having problems breathing.
Floodwaters flooded vehicles in Zhengzhou
It added that employees at a subway station told her husband that all passengers had been evacuated, but that wasn’t the case after he started a video call with his wife on his phone, demonstrating that she was still aboard.
Although the government said more than 100,000 people had been evacuated to safety, the exact timings and locations of the killings and disappearances were not immediately known.
Henan province, located in central China between Beijing and Shanghai, features many cultural monuments and is a significant industrial and agricultural center.
It is crisscrossed by several streams, many of which are connected to the Yellow River, which has a history of overflowing its banks during seasons of heavy rain.
Waters were at waist height on Wednesday, according to state media, and rain was still falling.
The legendary Shaolin Temple, recognized for its Buddhist monks’ expertise of martial arts, was also extensively damaged to the north of Zhengzhou.
Summer floods are common in China, but the expansion of cities and conversion of farmland into subdivisions has exacerbated the severity of such catastrophes.
On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote to Chinese President Xi Jinping “to express his profound sympathies on the awful loss of lives and devastation,” according to a UN official.

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