The death toll from extreme rainfall last month in China’s Henan province has risen to more than 300, the Chinese government announced today. This means that the number of fatalities is almost three times higher than previously thought.
Last month, the Chinese province of Henan was hit by extreme storms. In three days there was as much rain as normally falls in a whole year. The rainfall caused flooding in the provincial capital of Zhengzhou. Streets overflowed and water and energy supplies failed.
Metro passengers were ambushed by the water and ended up in a nightmare. The water suddenly came up to their shoulders. Survivors took to social media to say they were terrified. “The water wasn’t the scariest. That was the fact that the oxygen in the car started to run out.”
Chinese social media has recently been criticized for not fully reporting the true scale of the catastrophe in the state media. Information about that would also be half-hearted and given ‘drop by drop’. Now the true death toll is indeed much higher than previously reported. Another 50 people are currently missing.
Floods are not uncommon in China at this time of year. The severity of the downpours was exceptional. According to experts, the water can no longer drain in many places because of the rapid urbanization in rural areas in recent years.
Along with the heatwaves in western North America and the wildfires in southern Europe, the floods in China are an example of extreme weather events hitting the world this summer.
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