Henan, China has been experiencing “rare and severe” rainfall since Saturday. The severe rain has caused heavy floods in central China. At least 12 people have died in the provincial capital Zhengzhou after being trapped in subways and cars.
According to some survivors, the water leaked through the subway doors and rose slowly from their ankles to their necks. A viral broadcast shared online shows passengers trapped in a subway car calling for help. “The water inside the carriage has reached chest levels! I already can’t speak anymore, please help!” said one woman.
She sent another message saying, “If no rescue comes in 20 minutes, several hundreds of us will lose our lives in the Zhengzhou subway.”
The provincial officials said that the woman in the broadcast had been rescued and all the bodies recovered were taken from the city’s subway system.
In the other parts of the city, 150 kids and teachers were rescued from a kindergarten. More than 100,000 people have been evacuated from the city, and thousands of emergency personnel are deployed to assist.
Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the flooding on Wednesday, calling the situation “very severe” and ordered the authorities to “prioritize the safety of people’s lives and properties.”
Several other cities were also affected by the flood, and more than 6,000 firefighters, 2,000 members of the police and Chinese military have been deployed for search and rescue operations across disaster-hit areas.