25 Killed, Thousands Evacuated as Massive Flooding Hits China

Torrential rains that hit southern China have killed at least 25 people, impacted millions of residents, and cost billions of yuan in economic damages.

According to local Chinese authorities, 10 people have died and three were still missing after severe rains hit central China’s Hunan Province on Wednesday.

The flood impacted about 1.79 million people, and 1,195 households’ homes were badly damaged or destroyed as of Wednesday.

Over 2,700 buildings have collapsed or been severely damaged, and 96,160 hectares of crops have been destroyed, resulting in significant losses for a province that serves as China’s key rice-producing region. 

Zhengzhou, the provincial capital and the site of most of the deaths, was unprepared for the water. 

City officials, who should have halted gatherings, suspended classes, and closed businesses, have ignored five straight red alerts for excessive rain.

Flood waters flooded the city’s subway tunnels, trapping hundreds of people and killing 12 of them.

Chinese officials, quoted in a separate report by CNN, estimated that direct economic losses total more than 4 billion yuan ($600 million).

China’s State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters upped its emergency flood response from Level IV to Level III on Saturday.

After 398 people died in disastrous floods caused by extraordinary rains in northern Henan province last summer, Chinese authorities are on high alert for this year’s flood season, which began this month.

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