CHINA Death toll rises 25 from severe flooding in Central China's Henan, with 7 more missing: authorities


Death toll rises 25 from severe flooding in Central China's Henan, with 7 more missing: authorities

People's Daily app

17:45, July 21, 2021

People wade through a waterlogged road in Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan province, July 20, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

The death toll has rised to 25 in Central China's Henan province due to torrential rain since Friday, with seven more missing, the local authorities said Wednesday at a press briefing.

Officials and attendees stood for a moment of silence at the start of the press conference to honor the dead.

Since July 16, over 1.24 million people in 89 counties, cities and districts have been affected by the extremely heavy rainfall and about 164,710 people have been relocated to safe places, said Xu Zhong, director of the office of Henan provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

The natural disaster has damaged 75,000 hectares of crops, resulting in a direct economic loss of about 542.3 million yuan (83.8 million U.S. dollars).

The downpours have forced water to exceed flood season marks in nine large reservoirs and 40 medium-sized ones in Henan. Several rivers were also flooded.

The rainstorms caused severe flooding in the provincial capital Zhengzhou, with subways ceasing operations, and railways, road and air transportation greatly affected.

Rescue efforts are continuing.

By 3 p.m. Wednesday, the Central Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) had sent more than 5,700 soldiers, armed police troops and militias to help with rescue work in more than 30 dangerous sections in Henan localities, in addition to 148 vessels and vehicles.

The Central Theater Command also enhanced supervision in the disaster-hit province via equipment such as satellites.

The PLA air force also sent soldiers to help with disaster relief, with many soldiers enhancing embankments overnight in Henan.

The PLA provincial military command dispatched thousands of soldiers in the battle against the disasters.

More torrential rain is forecast to hit Henan by 2 p.m. Thursday, according to Su Aifang, with the provincial meteorological observatory.

"As heavy rains continue, the risks of natural disasters are still high, and it is essential to prepare against flooding and geological disasters," Su said.

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