Henan death toll rises to 71

Mass operation: An aerial shot of rescuers evacuating people from a flooded area in Xinxiang city, Henan province. — AFP

ZHENGZHOU: The death toll from torrential rain in central China’s Henan province has risen to 71, said the information office of the provincial government at a press conference.

Disaster relief and reconstruction efforts are underway across the province hard hit by continuous heavy rainfall.

As of yesterday noon, telecommunications have been restored in Henan’s provincial capital Zhengzhou, including its suburban areas, the provincial communications administration said.

More than 1,200 professional personnel have helped repair base stations in the megacity, and restore telecommunication services in northern Henan, the administration added.

The Henan provincial meteorological observatory issued yellow alerts at 2.20pm yesterday, to warn people of lightning and expected short-term heavy downpours, lightning and strong gales in some parts of Zhengzhou and other cities in the following six hours.

Torrential downpours dumped a year’s rain in just three days last week on the hardest-hit city of Zhengzhou, flooding subway cars and trapping more than 500 commuters during rush hour last Tuesday.

Images of passengers inundated by shoulder-height water also went viral on Chinese social media last week.

The city government announced yesterday the names of those who perished in the subway, a rare attempt at transparency after people started leaving flowers at the entrance to the station.

Heavy downpours that began July 17 have affected almost 13 million people, damaged nearly 9,000 homes and caused economic losses in Henan estimated at 13.9 billion yuan (RM9bil).

Forecasters said more heavy rain is expected as the remnants of Typhoon In-Fa pass through the area. — Agencies

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