Death toll rises to 56 from heavy rain in China's Henan
The death toll from torrential rain in central China's Henan Province had risen to 56, with five people reported missing as of 7 pm Friday, local authorities said.
Rescue efforts including drainage operations are still underway at Jingguang Road tunnel in the provincial capital Zhengzhou, a waterlogged underpass where many vehicles had been trapped since Tuesday, according to the provincial emergency management department.
The department said there was still a large amount of water in the tunnel, where casualties have been reported. The exact number of casualties has yet to be confirmed.
So far, more than 7.5 million people have been affected by the heavy rainfall that started last Friday and the associated floods, with about 576,600 hectares of crops damaged and more than 3,800 houses collapsed across the province, causing a direct economic loss of over 13.9 billion yuan (US$2.1 billion).
About 920,000 local residents have been relocated to safe places, according to the department.
Telecommunications have been restored in urban areas of the hard-hit city of Zhengzhou after more than 2,200 base stations were repaired, the provincial communications administration said Friday.
Local authorities in Henan have started reconstruction efforts.