Heavy rain in central China cause massive disruptions
Heavy rain pounded the central Chinese Henan Province on Tuesday, bursting the banks of major rivers, flooding the streets of a dozen cities and killing at least one.
Henan, a populous province double the size of Austria, has been hit by storms since the weekend in an unusually active rainy season.
Daily lives of the province's 94 million people have been upended by transport closures. A major logistics hub, train services were suspended in much of the province, while many highways were closed and flights delayed or canceled.
In the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, by the banks of the Yellow River, residents waded through knee-high water to cross submerged street intersections, state television showed.
Dramatic video shared on social media showed commuters waist-deep in murky floodwaters on a subway train and an underground station turned into a large, churning pool.
In Ruzhou, a city southwest of Zhengzhou, streets have been turned into torrents, sweeping away cars and other vehicles, footage on social media showed.
A rising Yi River also threatened to hit the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring millennium-old Buddhist statues etched into limestone cliffs near the city of Luoyang.
Like the Longmen Grottoes, the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng City, famous in the West for its martial arts, has been temporarily shut.
Also in Dengfeng, an aluminium alloy plant exploded on Tuesday as water from a river surged into the factory.
At least 31 large and medium-sized reservoirs in the province have exceeded their warning levels.
From Saturday till Tuesday, 3,535 weather stations in Henan saw rainfall exceed 50mm, of which 1,614 registered levels above 100mm and 151 above 250mm.
The highest was in Lushan City, which saw 498mm of rain, according to the provincial weather bureau.
"This is the heaviest rain since I was born, with so many familiar places flooded," said an Internet user in the inundated city of Gongyi.