At least 12 people died in severe flooding on Tuesday in a Chinese provincial capital that caught people in subways and schools, washed away vehicles and stranded people at their workplaces overnight.
The already submerged city of Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, was hit by 20 centimeters (8 inches) of rain from 1 p.m. 16 to 17, said the official Xinhua News Agency, referring to the Henan Weather Bureau.
The rainstorm turned streets into fast-flowing rivers and flooded subway stations and cars.
Videos published online showed entire neighborhoods covered in waist-deep water and vehicles floating in the muddy bog.
North of Zhengzhou was the famous Shaolin Temple, known for its Buddhist monks’ mastery of martial arts.
Henan Province is home to many cultural sites and an important base for industry and agriculture.
Xinhua said 12 had died and 100,000 people had been relocated to safer places.
Stranded people spent the night at 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 neighborhood. State Grid Zhengzhou Power Supply Co. said a subway station had to be closed due to the rain.
“I have lived in Zhengzhou all my life and have never seen such a heavy downpour as today,” said Wang.
China experiences regular floods during the summer months, but the growth of cities and the conversion of agricultural land into subdivisions have increased the effects of such events.