Unusually heavy rains engulfed roads and bridges, inundating towns and villages in central China. Extreme conditions killed 33 people.nnes, displaced 250,000 people and mobile widespread disruption.
MIHE, China - Chen Shuying was seated at home with her husband and their old grandson on Tuesday when the water started pouring through the door. Within minutes, he was way above her waist. "The water came so fast," she said.
They reached the roof, where they waited for hours for the the water recedes. Two days later, she still cannot return home, she said. They were lucky. Three neighbors - a grocer and two customers of the grocer - were swept away by the flood waters and have not been seen since.
The The formidable destructive power of the floods that engulfed central China's Henan Province became clearer on Thursday, even as new areas were floodedees. More rain is expected, after days of torrential downpours, including the loudest ever recorded in region Tuesday. Image In Mihe, piles of mud came with heavy rains. Credit ... Keith Bradsher / The Hfrance .en
The death toll from flooding continued to rise, with provincial authorities saying 33 Officials say at least eight people are still missing, but these figures seemed preliminary at best as rescuers continued to try to reach areas infloods from outlying districts.
The disaster that has unfolded since Heavy rains that started on Sunday have affected more than 3 million people in the province, officials said. emergency services, including more than 250,000 people displaced from their homes. Even though the rains have eased somewhat - and authorities have lowered alert levels - a desperate search continued for relatives missing for more than 48 hours after the worst of the flooding.
The Paper, a newspaper owned by a state-owned media group, on Thursday published a list of people searching for missing relatives. Among the missing was Yan Yichen, a 12-year-old boy from Gongyi Town, who told his family that he was curious to see the flood waters and went out to see.
"He never came backu "the boy's grandmother Cui Yuncai said sobbing when reached by phone on Thursday.
In the cities and villages on the outskirts of Zhengzhou, the provincial capital at the center of the disaster, residents described even more who remained missing, such as the grocer and his customers. Some residents who fled their homes in the city of Mihe, on the Sishui River and 35 km west of downtown Zhengzhou, waited on Thursday next to a highway for news.
A man who gave only his last name, Zhang, said he was still looking for his father and four other members of the his family.
"Once the flood was noticed, it was too late " said Mr. Zhang, describing a surge in 'water five feet deep. "This is the first time that Ie saw such a severe flood. "
He and others hoped that the missing people were just still stuck in the electricity for recharge their phones.
Liu Dan, a resident of Zhengzhou, said that her husband, Liu Zhihao, had not been in contact since Tuesday evening, but She remained hopeful. The couple have two children and she is eight months pregnant with the third. Mr. Liu, 30, a salesman, went out that afternoon, apparently on business.
"He texted me at 5:10 pm asking me how we were," she said in a phone interview. "I have replied by saying that we were all fine, and I never got a response. Since then her phone is off, so we wait and wait. It has been 48 hours now. I think there are still some hope he's not the irre typesponsable. " Extreme weather
In Xinxiang, a town north of Zhengzhou, about 100 people were blocked on the second floor of a primary school, according to a post on Weibo , a Chinese social media platform. Many of them were children.
They had apparently sought refuge from the rising waters, which by Thursday had reached the second floor.
"Emergency needs help", a woman written in the message . “More than half of those trapped are elderlyes and children, the rain continues and the water level rises sharply! He soon reaches the second floor. The situation c would not be immediately verified by the Hfrance.fr. Calls to the mobile numbers indicated on the publication went unanswered. The electricity has been cut in dozens of villages, and water still flooded large areas across the province. People took to social media to spread news anddirect emergency rescuers to those in need. A message from Xinxiang showed a video of flooded streets, with a man begging for help, claiming that most of the people trapped in buildings with no electricity near him were older.
On a difficult journey through Henan Province on Thursday, many roads and bridges were inundated or blocked by mudslides. Zhengzhou remained largely isolated: railways and highways were still closed and air traffic suspended.
A large private and public relief effort has already started. At Mihe, a dozen large rubber rafts sat on tow racks behind pickup trucks; they are generally used for rafting.
Police cars, ambulances, rescue rescue vans and other vehicles were gares on high ground overlooking the swollen river. Two men in military camouflage uniforms used a drone to scan the area. Image The death toll from the flooding continued to rise, with provincial authorities saying 33 people were killed. Credit ... Noel Celis / Agence France-Presse - Images
Many houses in town, which lies in a flat-bottomed valley with steep slopes of red earth, were destroyed or seriously damaged. Ms. Chen, who survived with her husband and grandchildren, took refuge in a nearby village.
"Now we have no nothing to eat, nowater to drink, not at home to return to, ”she said. "I don't know what to do.
Through the countryside, fallen power cables meandered through roads, village streets and alleys , the poles supporting them having been blown away.
In a village near Gongyi, where at least four people were reportedly killed on Tuesday, Chen Shuailin, 21, said stated that the current had been on since he woke up Tuesday morning. He was worried about charging his phone and making foo d without electricity. “Now we cook with gas,” he said, “and we burn coal. "
In Zhengzhou, the metro service was suspended after flood which trapped the trains in tunnels filled with water. At least 12 peopledied in the subway and hundreds had to be evacuated in heartbreaking rescues. Near the city's third ring road, dozens of cars remained piled up at the entrance of a long underpass of the freeway, still submerged. It was not clear if the people inside the vehicles had had time to escape - and some appeared to have disappeared.
Two of them were friends, Xu Yukun and Li Haoming, both 14 years old. According to Xu's sister, Zu Panpan, they had gone out with friends when their electric bicycle was washed away by the flood waters at the entrance to the underpass. They called the friends to let them know where they were, but they haven't answered their phones since.
Their mother, Ms. Zu said in a telephone interview, was waiting near the underpass as efforts were made to pump the water. She herself had not slept for two days and was on her way back to Zhengzhou from the southern city of Guangzhou.
"If they're in it," she said, "then there is no hope.
Keith Bradsher reported from Mihe, China, and Steven Lee Myers from Seoul. Reports and research were provided by Li You, Chris Buckley, Albee Zhang, Liu Yi, Claire Fu, Amy Chang Chien and Joy Dong.