Beijing: At least 25 people, including 12 subway passengers, were killed when the heaviest rainfall in 1,000 years hit China's central Henan province, prompting President Xi Jinping on Wednesday to deploy the Army to rescue those trapped in inundated subways, hotels and public places. A total of 1.24 million (12.4 lakh) people were affected and 1,60,000 evacuated, state-run Global Times reported.
Twelve people were killed when subway stations were hit by the floods. They died when their subway train was hit with rapidly rising floodwaters on Tuesday night, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
The massive floods, described by meteorologists as a once-in-a-lifetime event, has resulted in apocalyptic scenes in the provincial capital Zhengzhou, a metropolis of 12.6 million, with its public avenues and subway tunnels getting submerged with surging waters.
Videos posted on the Chinese social media showed petrified passengers trapped in subway trains clinging on to handlebars desperately waiting for help as floodwaters rose to their necks.
Videos showed people trying to wade through floods downtown with scores of cars and other vehicles washed away. Some videos also showed people falling into the massive road cave-ins.
The PLA, on its social media account on Sina Weibo, said that a 20-meter-long crevasse had appeared in the dam in Yichuan county of Henan province, and it could collapse any time. The downtown area of Zhengzhou received an average precipitation of 457.5 mm within 24 hours on Tuesday, the highest daily rainfall since the weather record began, Xinhua reported.
Weather forecasters described the extreme event as the heaviest rainfall in 1,000 years while hospitals have run out of electricity, the Post reported.