Severe flooding in Central China

Torrential rain has caused severe flooding in parts of central China, forcing people from their homes and leaving stations and roads submerged. More than 10,000 people in Henan province have been evacuated to shelters following the record rainfall.

At least 12 are dead and subway passengers in China’s central Henan province were trapped in trains flooded with water Tuesday after heavy rain caused rivers to burst their banks. More than a dozen cities have been affected with main roads forced to close and flights cancelled. Henan province, which is home to some 94 million people, has issued its highest level of weather warning following an unusually active rainy season. Many factors contribute to flooding, but a warming atmosphere caused by climate change makes extreme rainfall more likely. China’s Xinhua News Agency reported that a dozen people were killed in the catastrophic flooding and more than 100,000 people have been forced to flee to safe ground. There are also fears that a dam in Henan province could collapse after it was damaged by the recent storms. A 20-metre (65ft) breach has emerged in the dam in Luoyang city, officials said. Soldiers have been deployed to the area and a statement from the army warned it could “collapse at any time”.

The Zhengzhou local government warned in a statement published on its website that the “flood control situation is grim,” with the risk of disaster “extremely high.”