Death toll from floods rises to 302 in China's Henan
The death toll from torrential rains in central China's Henan Province has risen to 302 as of Monday noon, the information office of the provincial government told a press briefing on Monday afternoon.
Another 50 people remain missing, said the office.
A total of 292 people were confirmed dead and 47 missing in Zhengzhou City, the provincial capital, seven people dead and three missing in Xinxiang City, while the city of Pingdingshan and Luohe reported two and one death, respectively.
As of Monday noon, more than 14.53 million people in 150 county-level regions had been affected by downpours. Over 1.09 million hectares of crops were damaged, and over 30,600 houses had collapsed across the province, official data showed.
Since July 16, record rainstorms had inundated Henan. In Zhengzhou, 617.1 mm of rainfall fell over a three-day period, close to the city's average annual amount. The city also registered a record hourly precipitation rate of 201.9 mm.
Extreme rainfall in a short period of time, disruption of urban traffic, and large water displacement of urban underground space have made search and rescue difficult, said officials at the press briefing.
Currently, railways, civil aviation, expressways and major roads in Henan have resumed traffic. The urban and rural public transportation and communication networks have also basically resumed. Areas where disaster-affected people have been relocated, public transport, and flood-affected areas have all completed disinfection.
The State Council, China's Cabinet, announced Monday that it has decided to set up an investigation team to assess the responses to the devastating flood in Zhengzhou.
The team will be headed by the Ministry of Emergency Management and include officials and experts from relevant departments, the State Council said in a statement.
The investigation aims to summarize the experience and lessons drawn from the response and propose measures that can be taken to improve disaster prevention and relief in the future, the statement said.
Those who are found breaching their duties in the flood will be held responsible according to the law and regulations, it added.