Heavy flooding has hit central China following unusually heavy rains, with the subway system in the city of Zhengzhou inundated with rushing water.
Just to the north, the famed Shaolin Temple known for its Buddhist monks’ mastery of martial arts was badly hit.
There was no immediate word on possible deaths or injuries Tuesday, but videos posted online showed entire neighbourhoods covered in water at least a meter (yard) deep and vehicles floating in the muddy mire.
More than 10,000 residents of Henan province were moved to shelters, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. The province, home to the Shaolin Temple and many other cultural sites, is one of China’s most populous and a major base for both industry and agriculture.
Some people were spending the night in their workplaces or checked into hotels.
Wang Guirong, a 56-year-old restaurant manager, said she planned to sleep on the couch in her restaurant after being told there was no power in her neighbourhood.
“I have lived in Zhengzhou all my life and have never seen such a heavy rainstorm as today,” Wang said.
The State Grid Zhengzhou Power Supply Co. said a downtown substation was forced to shut down because of the rain.
China experiences regular flooding during the summer months, but the growth of cities and conversion of farmland into subdivisions has raised the costs of such events.
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