China: 51 killed by floods - Dramatic rescue by any means
China has been facing catastrophic floods for the past three days, killing dozens of people.
The battle with the floods continues in China where at least 51 people have lost their lives. Note that deadly floods also occur in neighboring India due to heavy rainfall. Authorities in a Chinese city have been forced to rescue people with inflatables today, as many areas in the central part of the country are still under siege after catastrophic floods in the past three days.
Nearly 400 people were released
Henan, China's third-largest province with a population of nearly 100 million, has been hit in recent days by unprecedented rainfall that has caused widespread flooding and turned roads into rivers. In Chenzhou, the provincial capital, at least 12 people were killed when the city's subway flooded on Tuesday.
In the metropolis of 10 million people, rescuers and firefighters are still using huge pumps today to pump water that has accumulated on the streets. More than 395.000 people have been displaced by floods, which have caused 65,5 billion yuan (8,5 billion yuan) in property damage, city officials said today.
Fifteen residents of Chenzhou had to be rescued in a hurry with a bulldozer. Police have been deployed near the entrances of a tunnel, where many vehicles were trapped on Tuesday due to rising water. Security forces barred reporters from photographing the spot, and there may still be dead bodies in the tunnel inside underwater vehicles.
Bad weather is now moving further north. Heavy rains that fell overnight on Thursday caused new floods further north in the province. The city of Xinjiang, located 90 kilometers from Chenzhou, and its environs are isolated from the rest of the world as they have flooded after the overflow of the Wei River.
Images broadcast by Chinese state television CCTV show rescuers using inflatable and makeshift floating bridges to rescue trapped residents of the city. More than 9.000 people were rescued this way, while another 19.000 remain to be transported to safety, CCTV said. At the same time thousands of acres of arable land have been flooded, while outside the water only the tops of the trees are visible.
Scientists attribute climate change to the storms that hit central China, the worst in the region for 60 years, and records have been kept. Further east, Chinese authorities are watching with concern the development of Hurricane In-fa, which is accompanied by torrential rains and winds blowing at a speed of 130 kilometers per hour. In-fa is expected to arrive in the Shanghai area tomorrow, Saturday, where tens of millions of people live.