Across Henan province, over 1.24 million people have been affected and about 164,710 people relocated to safe places.
Chinese authorities launched massive rescue and relief efforts in response to record rainstorms that have swamped Henan Province since the weekend, leaving large areas under water and at least 25 people dead.
So far, a total of 25 people have been killed and another seven reported missing in the torrential rains in Zhengzhou City. Across the province, over 1.24 million people have been affected and about 164,710 people relocated to safe places. Massive rescue and relief efforts are underway to deal with the impact of the prolonged heavy rainfall.
On Wednesday, President Xi Jinping demanded that authorities at all levels must give top priority to securing people's safety and property, and should carefully and strictly implement the flood prevention and disaster relief measures.
He also ordered authorities to promptly organize flood prevention and disaster relief forces, properly accommodate those affected, strictly prevent secondary disasters, and minimize casualties and property losses.
Meteorological researchers said the havoc was the result of extreme weather conditions. The terrain on Henan's Taihang and Funiu mountains lifted up the easterly air, causing heavy rainfall to persist in the mountainous western and northwestern areas of Henan.
1/3 Some really distressing videos coming out of Zhengzhou in central China - this driver looks rather calm under pressure. But other videos on WeChat show what appear to be people clearly struggling to keep their heads above the flood waters. Death toll so far is 1, 2 missing pic.twitter.com/P8dEk1B1iC— Bill Birtles (@billbirtles) July 20, 2021
The heavy rain has significantly increased the risk of mountain torrents and geological disasters in the mountainous western and northwestern regions of the province. The water levels of small and medium-sized rivers and reservoirs in the Yellow River and Haihe River basins have risen rapidly, and large-scale urban waterlogging and farmland flooding have occurred.
On Wednesday, the Emergency Management Ministry (MEM) raised the emergency response for flood control to its second-highest level, and Henan initiated its highest-level emergency response. The MEM has dispatched a working team to the affected areas in Henan to help with disaster relief work.
A rescue team of 1,800 firefighters was deployed to the flood-hit regions from seven neighboring provinces, together with boats, pumping vehicles and flood rescue kits. Henan has also dispatched 17,280 firefighters. To restore damaged networks in Zhengzhou, local telecommunication companies have rushed to repair at least 6,300 base stations and 275 km of optical fiber cables.