At least 12 people died in severe flooding on Tuesday in a Chinese provincial capital that trapped people in the subway and schools, swept away vehicles and stranded people at their workplaces overnight.
The already inundated city of Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, was hit by 20 centimeters (8 inches) of rain from 4 to 5 p.m., the state-run Xinhua News Agency said, citing the Henan Weather Agency. .
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The torrent of rain turned the streets into fast flowing rivers and inundated metro stations and cars. Videos posted online showed whole quarters covered with water up to the waist and vehicles floating in the muddy mud.
North of Zhengzhou, the famous Shaolin Temple known for the martial arts mastery of its Buddhist monks has been hit hard. Henan Province is home to many cultural sites and a major base for industry and agriculture.
Xinhua said 12 people have died and 100,000 people have been moved to safer places.
Stranded people spent the night at their workplace or checked into hotels.
Wang Guirong, a 56-year-old restaurant manager, said she planned to sleep on the sofa in her restaurant after learning that there was no electricity in her neighborhood. State Grid Zhengzhou Power Supply Co. said a downtown substation was forced to close because of the rain.
“I have lived in Zhengzhou all my life and have never seen such a severe thunderstorm as it is today,” Wang said.
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China regularly experiences floods during the summer, but the growth of cities and the conversion of farmland to housing estates have increased the impact of such events.
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