At least 29 people have been killed and 7 others remain missing after heavy rains affecting China's central province of Henan since July 16 intensified on July 20, 2021. 25 of them died and 7 remain missing in Henan's capital Zhengzhou after massive floods caused by a month's worth of July rains in just one hour. 4 people died in severe floods that hit the city of Gongyi on the same day.
- Zhengzhou meteorologists said the level of rains the capital received in 3 days was 'once in a thousand years.'
- Heavy rains are expected to continue affecting parts of the province over the next 2 days.
- More than 3 000 PLA soldiers and personnel were dispatched to help with search and rescue operations.
Zhengzhou received average precipitation of 457.5 mm (18 inches) within 24 hours to 17:00 LT on July 20, making it the highest daily rainfall since the weather records in the city began.
The city has also reported record-high hourly precipitation of 201.9 mm (7.9 inches) between 16:00 and 17:00 LT (08:00 - 09:00 UTC).
The accumulated rainfall reached 449 mm (17.6 inches) on average from 18:00 LT on Sunday, July 18 to 00:00 LT on Tuesday, July 20.
From Saturday, July 17 to Tuesday, July 20, the capital city recorded 617.1 mm (24.2 inches) of rain, nearly its annual average of 640.8 mm (25.5 inches). This is a level seen only 'once in a thousand years,' according to local meteorologists.
Zhengzhou's average monthly rainfall for July is 193 mm (7.6 inches). July is also its wettest month, followed by August with 147 mm (5.8 inches) and September with 87 mm (3.4 inches).
Read more about this event: Massive flooding hits Zhengzhou after more than 200 mm (7.8 inches) of rain in just 1 hour, China (The Watchers, July 20, 2021)
Other parts of the province were also badly affected, with dozen other cities flooded.
At least 4 people were killed in Gongyi, a city located by the banks of the Yellow River, like Zhengzhou. Local media reported widespread collapse of homes and structures due to heavy rains.
At least 31 large and medium-sized reservoirs have seen water levels rise above the alert level after torrential rains battered most parts of the province on Monday and Tuesday, July 19 and 20.
In Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, floods affected more than 16 000 people, as two dams collapsed on July 18 after two days of heavy rainfall -- the highest since record-keeping began 60 years ago.
Featured image credit: Xinhua (stillshot)