“Millennium floods”: floods kill more than 300 in central China, toll tripled

The torrential rains in July were not deadly only in Europe. Around 14 July in Zhengzhou, the capital of central China’s Henan Province, it fell in three days the equivalent of almost a year of precipitation. Unheard of in six decades of meteorological records. Some politicians already call them the “Millennium” floods.

Last Thursday, the local authorities reported 90 dead. On Monday, the balance sheet was suddenly revised upwards: they now count 302 dead, triple, and 39 missing. In front of the press, the mayor of Zhengzhou, Hou Jong, clarified that 22 people had lost their lives in parking lots in basement. She assessed the damage in her city at 53, 2 billion yuan (nearly 7 billion euros).

A subway train had also been engulfed, which had at least made 14 dead among some 500 trapped passengers during rush hour.

VIDEO. Floods in China: Zhengzhou submerged, deaths in the metro…

The rain also submerged a road tunnel, sweeping away dozens of cars and turning the streets into torrents of mud. More than 376 inhabitants had to be evacuated . At 90 km from Zhengzhou, part of the inhabitants of Xinxiang, cut off from the world and surrounded by water, were also evacuated.

These “extremely serious” floods, in the words of President Xi Jinping, have caused the collapse of houses, reports the People’s Daily, the organ of the ruling Communist Party. Since then, hundreds of maintenance agents, firefighters and repairmen have been busy removing the damage.

Water cuts and electricity, blocked roads, collapsed dams … The material balance is also very important. While more than 200 000 ha of crops were swallowed up, the damage is estimated at 1, 20 billion yuan (160 millions of euros). At the same time, the government released emergency aid of 100 million yuan (000 million euros) in favor of Henan.