At least 25 people have been killed in central China — including at least a dozen who drowned in flooded subways — amid historic rainfalls that have displaced more than 1.2 million people, according to reports.
Dams and reservoirs were breached during the deluge, while the Chinese military was mobilized to divert water from overflowing rivers, with most of the damage reported in Zhengzhou, the BBC reported Wednesday.
The surging waters have shut down public transportation and left large swaths of the region without power — briefly shutting down Zhengzhour Hospital on Tuesday night.
“Never in my life had I seen so much rain,” a local resident identified as Mr. Liu told the BBC. “There was one hour where the rain was just pouring down on us from the heavens, and everything went completely white.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday reported “significant loss of life and damage to property” as the region began to dig out from the onslaught.
The pounding rains, which began last week, have displaced around 1.24 million people, paralyzing Zhengzhou and the surrounding areas, the South China Morning Post said.
Among the deadliest outcome of the storms were on the Line 5 subways between the Haitansi and Shakoulu stations, where rising floodwaters trapped passengers underground, with at least 12 reported dead, the outlet said.
Survivors described the waters rising from “our ankles to our knees to our necks.”
Compounding the flooding was damage to several dams, including a 65-foot breach in one dam in Luoyang city, which military officials said could “collapse at any time,” the BBC said.
In Sishui, residents were forced to flee to their rooftops as the waters rose.
“We don’t know how to swim,” one villager wrote on social media. “The whole village is about to be washed away.