Subway passengers in China’s central Henan province were trapped in carriages that were flooded on Tuesday after torrential rains caused rivers to burst their banks.
In disturbing images published on social media, subway passengers in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan, could be seen in a pool of muddy water, waiting for rescue.
In a video posted on Weibo, the Henan Fire Department said it was working to rescue passengers from the railway.
Meanwhile, city streets were transformed into rivers, with vehicles submerged in torrential waters.
More than 144,660 residents have been affected by the torrential rains and subsequent flooding, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency, forcing more than 10,000 people to flee to safe ground.
In a statement published on the Zhengzhou local government website, the city warned that the “flood control situation is grim”, with the risk of disaster “extremely high”.
In a separate statement published on the government’s official WeChat account, officials warned residents to stay at home or in a safe place and stay alert for updates.
According to Reuters, no deaths have been reported so far in connection with the flooding.
An emergency call meeting was held on Tuesday, the city said, with Xu Liyi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Provincial Party Committee and secretary of the Municipal Party Committee, who led the talks.
The major floods are due to Henan, a province twice the size of Austria, which has been plagued by heavy rainfall for days since the weekend.
The storm is expected to last through Thursday.
During Tuesday’s emergency meeting, Xu said such high rainfall is a rarity in Henan.
Amid the flooding, train services had to be shut down amid the severe flooding, while many highways have been closed and flights have been delayed or canceled entirely.
There are also fears that the flood could threaten major landmarks, with the rising Yi River posing a risk to Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of ancient Buddhist statues near the city of Luoyang.
According to the UNESCO website, the caves contain the “largest and most impressive collection of Chinese art from the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties”.
The incident takes place as Germany and other parts of Western Europe grapple with the effects of severe flooding that left at least 197 people dead, at least 300 others missing and 749 injured, according to police and affected regional governments.
The floods in Western Europe, along with the recent deadly heat wave in parts of the western United States and Canada, have put a new focus on the climate crisis, with politicians and climate experts alike warning that the global community must step up its efforts to combat climate change.
Ed Flanagan contributed.