Almost a year’s rainfall fell in three days on Zhenzhou, the capital city of China’s central Henan province between July 17–20, inundating reservoirs and flooding the underground system for the subway and trains.
Many of Zhengzhou’s water reservoirs, including Changzhuang, Guojiazui, and Jialu River, were filled to overflowing. Zhengzhou’s railways, highways, and civil aviation traffic were severely affected. A video posted on Twitter by Radio Free Asia showed that the city became a lake within four hours.
The floods poured into the subway underground tunnels and trains.
By 1:40 p.m. local time on July 20, water began to accumulate on the roads but it was still drivable. By 2:20 p.m. the water was over the wheels of vehicles. By 3:20 p.m. cars were completely underwater.
At 5:30 p.m. the subway tunnels flooded and the city became a lake.
The entire Zhengzhou subway line ceased operation, and many passengers were trapped in the subway cars. A rescued passenger on Chinese social media said that the water reached his shoulders, and the current was fast and strong. He personally witnessed people around him get washed away.
According to Zhengzhou authorities, on July 21, more than 500 passengers were evacuated from the inundated subway line, with 12 reportedly killed and five others injured. By July 22, the regime said that reportedly 33 people died from the flooding, with eight missing.
According to Zhengzhou’s local meteorological bureau, it claimed the city’s three-day downpour has reached a new precipitation record of 617.1 mm (26.4 inches). Among them, hourly and single-day precipitation exceeded the 60-year record since Zhengzhou was established in 1951. The average annual rainfall in Zhengzhou is 640.8 mm (25.2 inches), almost equivalent to precipitation in these three days.
Although the CCP claimed that the rainfall was “once in 5,000 years,” it is unknown where that data came from, given that China’s precipitation records only go back to 1951.
A Manmade Disaster?
In an interview with The Epoch Times reporter, Wang Weiluo, a Chinese hydraulic expert living in Germany, said that the flood in Zhengzhou, Henan was manmade and not caused by the weather.
Zhengzhou is located in the lower reaches of the Yellow River. All water in the Yellow River passes through the dam of Sanmenxia, and the floodgates are manually controlled. Sanmenxia is a dam located a little more than 60 miles upriver from Zhengzhou. There are also many reservoirs located in different parts of Zhengzhou that are also manually controlled.
“The operators can control how much water it discharges. Therefore, there are no natural floods in Zhengzhou; they are artificial,” Wang said. “[The authorities] decide how much water they discharge—depending on how critical they feel about the reservoirs. The more they discharge the water, the greater the danger to the people living close to the downstream. As for how many people will die, it doesn’t matter to [the CCP]; they either don’t report it or underreport it, there has never been a factual report of the casualties.”
The Epoch Times interviewed Mr. Li, a Zhengzhou resident on July 21, who said that the water at the center of Zhengzhou where he lives had receded entirely the day after the devastating flood. He said that he had seen floods since childhood, and it would usually take at least three or four days for the water to recede if a village or a city was flooded by heavy rain.
“But now the water has receded right away. … I don’t think the waterlogging is a result of natural rainfall,” Li said.
According to the CCP’s official announcement, Zhengzhou’s Changzhuang Reservoir had already begun to discharge water downstream at 10:30 a.m. on July 20. But the announcement was not made known to the public until 12 hours after the discharge. The city was flooded in hours after the reported discharge had started.
It is unknown whether the Changzhuang Reservoir discharge had been a primary factor of the flood as other reservoirs (such as Guojiazui, Jialu River, and others) also had their discharges on the same day but the exact times weren’t specified.
Wang also suggested that it is difficult for people to understand the full picture of the disaster from a fragment of the information reported by the CCP.
“You won’t get the complete picture of what really transpired when [the CCP] doesn’t provide any real information. And if people don’t understand the whole situation, they don’t even know where to run [when the flood comes].” Wang added.