Footage shows water filling carriages in Zhengzhou metro system, trapping people inside

Photos taken by Weibo user merakiZz- show a deluged subway car in Zhengzhou, Henan province. Composite: AFP via Getty Images

s flood water swirled around their chests, passengers on the Zhengzhou metro carriage clung to the handrails and struggled to breathe in the diminishing space between them and the roof. Some felt faint, and one woman was heard calling family members to give them banking and other information in the apparent fear she might not see them again.

Across Chinese digital and social media, horrifying stories have spread of people trapped in floods caused by what authorities said was a once-in-a-millennium rain event that hit the province of Henan, prompting the highest level of weather warning.

At least 25 people have been killed and more than 200,000 displaced by the disaster in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, which flooded the streets and the metro system and at least one hospital, and damaged dams. Another four were reported killed in the nearby city of Gongyi as 14 reservoirs overflowed. State media reported 20,000 rescuers had been deployed in more than 300 teams to assist 34,000 people, while another 1,150 joint police and armed forces were sent to dams and reservoirs for emergency repairs and diversions.

Amateur footage shared on state and social media laid bare the scale of the destruction, and hailed the rescue efforts by official teams and regular citizens across the city. Hundreds of cars were seen overturned and floating down submerged multi-lane roads, while elsewhere rescuers floated children out of a flooded kindergarten in plastic tubs, and teams of bystanders hauled people to safety by rope or human chains.

China: woman rescued from dangerous flood waters in Zhengzhou – video