13 dead in central China amid flooding caused by heaviest rainfall in 1,000 years

July 21 (UPI) -- Days of heavy rain that led to flooding on Wednesday in central China have killed at least 13 people and forced more than a 100,000 to evacuate, according to local media.

China's Xinhua reported the death toll of 12 for the Henan provincial capital city of Zhengzhou, where nearly 19 inches of rain fell from 6 p.m. Sunday to midnight Tuesday, prompting both the Henan provincial government and the Zhengzhou municipal meteorological bureau to raise the emergency response for meteorological disasters to Level 1.


The flooding in the metropolis of more than 10.3 million people forced more than 160 trains to halt, many with passengers aboard and stranded, the news agency reported.

Videos of the interior of subway cars posted to social media show passengers holding on to handrails and wadding in water that reaches their chests.

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China's CGTN reported that the 12 dead were found among passengers trapped on subway trains where rescuers evacuated more than 500 people, including five who were injured and sent to area hospitals.

In the city of Gongyi, which is about 50 miles west of Zhengzhou, at least one person has died, two are missing and more than 3,600 have been relocated as it was hit with 23 inches of rain between Monday night and Tuesday afternoon, China's Global Times reported.


The rain is expected to continue until Wednesday night. Weather forecasters have said its the heaviest rainfall in 1,000 years, South China Morning Post reported.

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At least 32 reservoirs in the province have exceeded their flood limit with some river sections over flowing.

Xinhua reported that the rain has damaged 9,222 hectares of crops equaling about $11.3 million.

President Xi Jinping ordered the People's Liberation Army and police to assist local authorities in rescue efforts while urging relevant government agencies to protect major infrastructure and locate hidden dangers.

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