Looking back at Zhengzhou where the floods receded: How did this "natural disaster" happen?

  Author: Feng Shuoshuo 

  Although the flood disaster was caused by heavy rains, some human and hardware systemic factors had already converged before the flood, and they were amplified during the flood, which eventually caused huge losses to the country and people's lives and property.

  Ten days have passed since the torrential rain on July 20, and the waterlogging in Zhengzhou city has gradually subsided, but the pain left to this city still needs time to heal.

  The area affected was not only Zhengzhou, but also 1602 towns in 150 counties (cities, districts) in Xinxiang, Zhoukou and other places.

According to the Henan Provincial Flood Control and Disaster Relief Press Conference, as of 12:00 on the 29th, according to the statistics of the National Natural Disaster Management System, this round of heavy rainfall caused 1,912,800 people in 150 counties (cities, districts) in the province to be affected by the disaster. Among 99 people, there are still missing persons under further verification.

  Currently, Zhengzhou's post-disaster recovery and reconstruction work is advancing, but some people have also suggested that some problems exposed in the natural disaster should be reviewed to avoid more disasters.

Early warning

  The torrential rain on July 20 has become a lingering shadow in the hearts of Zhengzhou citizens.

  Citizen Wei Hua said that the rain actually started on July 17, and it has been intermittent. Although there is water on the road from time to time, the area is not large.

It wasn't until noon on July 20 that the heavy rain started pouring to the ground like a "jade bottle overturned by the Jade Emperor", "It feels like the sky has suddenly collapsed and it keeps falling down."

At this moment, the flood began to run wildly from west to east like a behemoth, flooding the cars, warehouses, and underground garages along the way.

  The Zhengzhou Meteorological Bureau is also deeply anxious about the coming heavy rain. The Weibo account of Zhengzhou Meteorology officially certified by the Zhengzhou Meteorological Bureau shows that from 21:59 on July 19 to 16:00 on July 20 At 01, Zhengzhou Meteorological Bureau has issued 5 red warnings in a row.

  "Military sentiment" is like fire.

At 6:20 am on July 20, Li Kexing, director of Zhengzhou Meteorological Bureau, quickly issued No. 115 "Meteorological Disaster Warning Signal".

"Red warning signal for heavy rain...It is estimated that in the next 3 hours, the precipitation in Zhengzhou city and the six counties (cities) under its jurisdiction will reach more than 100 millimeters." The document also gives defense guidelines: the government and relevant departments will do well in accordance with their duties. Emergency and rescue work to prevent rainstorms; stop gatherings, suspension of classes, and business suspension (except for special industries); do a good job in the prevention and rescue of disasters such as mountain torrents, landslides, and mudslides.

  At 9:08 and 11:50, Li Kexing successively issued the "Meteorological Disaster Warning Signal", suggesting "stop gatherings, classes, and business."

  According to relevant regulations, these meteorological disaster warning signals will be notified to the administrative departments of education, public security, housing construction, urban management, transportation, emergency response, etc. and some major leaders of the local government at the same time, and each unit will be based on the types, levels and levels of the warning signals. Defense guidelines, organize and implement the defense work of meteorological disasters and meteorological-derived disasters.

  Many citizens, including Wei Hua, received text messages about rainfall from the government that day, but in the end, the content of these text messages did not mention "stop gatherings, suspension of classes, and closure of business."

In fact, on July 20, except for the rain, everything seemed to be business as usual in Zhengzhou. The citizens went to work and sent their children to school as usual.

  By 16:00 on July 20, the rainstorm in Zhengzhou suddenly began to increase, floods began to spread everywhere in Zhengzhou city, and the road area water increased significantly.

  Data from the Zhengzhou Meteorological Bureau showed that from 16:00 to 17:00 on July 20, the rainfall in Zhengzhou reached 201.9mm in one hour, which is equivalent to the amount of water of 150 Hangzhou West Lake being dumped at the same time; from 20:00 on the 19th to 20:00 on the 20th , Zhengzhou's single-day rainfall is 552.5mm; from 20:00 on the 17th to 20:00 on the 20th, the three-day rainfall in Zhengzhou is 617.1mm, of which hourly precipitation and single-day precipitation have broken through the historical record of 60 years since Zhengzhou station was established in 1951 .

  Based on the average annual rainfall of 640.8mm in Zhengzhou, the three-day rainfall in Zhengzhou is equivalent to the rainfall in the previous year.

  According to the information reported by the government, 82 people were killed in the disaster. 1,194 communities in the main urban area were out of power due to the disaster, 1864 communities were out of water, 2075 urban roads collapsed, and 67 tunnels, bridges and culverts in the urban area were damaged. 918 trunk roads were destroyed.


  When heavy rains occurred, some cars on the road broke down quickly, and some cars staying in the underground garage of the community were quickly flooded.

  More dangerous road conditions appeared near Zhengzhou Metro Line 5 and Jingguang Road Tunnel.

  A Metro Line 5 train carrying more than 500 passengers from Haitansi Station to Shakou Road suddenly stopped midway, causing flooding to flow back into the carriage. Even when standing on the seat, the water level still overflowed a little The neck of the passenger.

  At almost the same time, some drivers who were trapped in the Jingguang Road tunnel due to congestion also discovered that the flood was rapidly flowing back into the tunnel, and the vehicles quickly ran out of tires.

  At this time, tens of thousands of vehicles in the underground garages of hundreds of communities, including Hanhai Qingyu, Jincheng International Plaza, Zhenghong City, etc., are being flooded by rising floods.

  By the time the heavy rain subsided, disaster had already occurred.

  Although most of the passengers trapped on Metro Line 5 were rescued, 14 people were still killed.

Six of the drivers and passengers congested in the Jingguang Road Tunnel were killed.

  Some people lost their lives in this flood, and some people lost their wealth accumulated over the years of hard work.

  Hesheng Trade City, located on Hanghai Road, Zhengzhou City, is a wholesale mall covering an area of ​​70 acres with hundreds of shoe merchants. Some merchants have been operating here for nearly 20 years, and some of them have millions or even tens of millions. Net worth.

But an unexpected torrential rain caused them to be wiped out.

  The Kingdom Party, which has been in the shoe wholesale industry since 1998, was on the brink of collapse when it opened its warehouse on July 21.

In the warehouse, all 120,000 pairs of cloth shoes were soaked. These cloth shoes with an ex-factory price of 30 yuan to 50 yuan per pair are the 5 million yuan of wealth that their family has accumulated over 23 years of business.

  Nowadays, these cloth shoes that have been soaked in the flood and faced with mold, distortion, and glue can only sell for about 10 yuan per pair-less than one-third of the cost price.

  In the 23 years since its establishment, the Kingdom Party is facing the greatest catastrophe in life.

"I bought fire insurance, but unfortunately, I never thought I would be flooded. I didn't buy flood insurance!" This means that even if all these flooded cloth shoes are sold, the Royal Party may lose three times. Four million yuan.

  Chai Weixia also suffered losses.

She is a merchant in an underground wholesale mall near Zhengzhou Railway Station. The heavy rain flooded at least 15,000 down jackets and Paige, and lost more than 4.5 million yuan.

  At the same time, due to heavy rains, the underground reservoirs of hundreds of communities in Zhengzhou were flooded and flooded. Many residents' vehicles were soaked or flooded to varying degrees.

Zhang Jun, the person in charge of the Zhengmi Road Store of Beijing Tokyo Motor Association, said that some vehicles that have submerged the roof have actually lost any repair value.

He initially estimated that among the nearly 5 million vehicles in Zhengzhou, the number of water-soaked vehicles caused by heavy rains is between 200,000 and 500,000, which means that hundreds of thousands of families in Zhengzhou will face losses.

  Also suffering heavy losses is the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University (hereinafter referred to as "Zheng University First Affiliated Hospital"), which was founded in 1993.

On the morning of July 24, when the Changsha rescue team in Hunan Province arrived here to help in the post-disaster reconstruction, Yan Xinzheng, the vice president of the hospital wiped his tears, and said to the volunteers who came to the rescue: "It hasn't been closed for 100 years. It is closed today. The hospital It's closed."

  "I have worked here for more than 40 years, and this is the worst in history." Liu Zhangsuo, Dean of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zheng University, said sadly. On the whole, the initial direct loss caused by the flood to the hospital was 1.3 billion~ 1.5 billion yuan, the indirect loss is even greater.

"The negative one, negative two, and negative three floors of most buildings are not preserved. They are very heavy. Large equipment such as CT, nuclear magnetic resonance, gamma knife, DR, color Doppler ultrasound, etc. have been flooded, and most of them have been scrapped."

  Liu Zhangsuo said that due to the relatively low geographical location of the River Hospital Area of ​​the First Affiliated Hospital of Zheng University, coupled with the inversion of the Jinshui River, the hospital was eventually submerged. The first floor and the underground floor filled with water were filled with valuable equipment and precision. Instruments, including CT, nuclear magnetic, DR, color Doppler ultrasound, PET-CT, linear accelerator, gamma knife and other equipment, as well as hyperbaric oxygen chambers, power distribution rooms, control systems, security systems, computer rooms, etc., have a very large direct loss.

In addition to direct losses, there are also some secondary losses. For example, some medical equipment changes in performance after power failure and need to be repaired; the aseptic environment of the operating room needs to be reworked, and so on.


  The occurrence of floods has also brought huge challenges to the lives and survival of residents in this city.

  On the afternoon of July 20, when the torrential rain was the worst, all the elevators, water, and electricity in Wei Hua's community were shut down. She lived on the 20th floor, and she suddenly felt in darkness.

When she turned on her mobile phone to send WeChat to relatives and friends, she found that the internet speed of the mobile phone had become extremely slow, and even the basic mobile phone signal was lost.

  At first, Wei Hua thought that maybe everything would return to normal after the heavy rain passed.

  But until July 26, her home's water and electricity still had not been restored, and the elevator had been stopped.

After communicating with her friends, she discovered that not only her community, but also thousands of communities in Zhengzhou are facing water, power, and elevator shutdowns.

  Without electricity, the meat stored in the refrigerator quickly deteriorated and gave off a foul smell. Wei Hua brought these smelly materials from the 20th floor to the garbage collection station and found that the originally neatly arranged garbage bins had been Replaced by a garbage mountain about 5 meters high-due to the collapse of the road and broken traffic, the garbage truck that should have come to clean it has not come for 3 days.

  At noon that day, when she was about to purchase some bottled water and snacks, she found that the WeChat Pay and Alipay in the mobile phone could not be used because there was no mobile phone network. The owner said that the cashier in the store was also out of power or lack of electricity. The network is no longer in use, and now only cash can be collected.

  At this time, the auto repair shops all over Zhengzhou are full of cars that have been dismantled with seats and interiors waiting to be repaired. Various trailers are rushing through the streets and lanes, flooding one after another The vehicle is delivered to the store.

  The city needs to return to normal soon.

  On July 27th, Xu Liyi, secretary of the Zhengzhou Municipal Party Committee, presided over the post-disaster recovery and reconstruction work meeting and pointed out that the whole city has been transferred to the key stage of post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. Various tasks are very heavy and the challenges are great; it is necessary to increase the promotion and realize it as soon as possible The tasks of “two connections and one row” of water supply, electricity supply, and underground space drainage should be completely cleared; efforts should be made to focus on water-damaged projects that seriously affect people’s lives, and repairs should be completed as soon as possible; projects under construction or proposed should give way to restoration projects. The restoration should minimize the impact on ground traffic, and strengthen the organization and scheduling of road traffic to ensure orderly travel and rapid recovery of urban traffic.

  Rescue teams, volunteers, and the People's Liberation Army from all over the country were quickly involved in the post-disaster reconstruction of the city.

  On the evening of July 27, after the day and night of the power workers from the State Grid Shanxi, Shaanxi, Yan'an, Nanyang and other places, Wei Hua’s community finally ushered in temporary electricity use.

And Zhengzhou, a city with a population of tens of millions, has gradually returned to life after experiencing the ravages of floods.


  According to the official data, the direct economic loss of Zhengzhou caused by the heavy rain disaster was more than 65 billion yuan.

  On the afternoon of the 29th, the Henan Provincial Government’s Flood Control and Disaster Relief Press Conference announced that since July 16, as of 12:00 on the 29th, according to the statistics of the National Natural Disaster Management System, this round of heavy rainfall caused 150 counties (cities, districts) in the province. 13,912,800 people in 1,616 townships were affected by the disaster, 99 people were killed in the disaster, and there are still missing persons under further verification.

The province is currently emergency resettlement of 930,300 people (a total of 1,470,800 people have been transferred and resettled); the affected area of ​​crops was 1048.5 thousand hectares, the disaster area was 527.3 thousand hectares, and the area of ​​no harvest was 198.2 thousand hectares; 18 thousand houses collapsed, 57,600 houses were seriously damaged. There were 164,400 houses in 46,400 households, and 136,800 houses were generally damaged, resulting in a direct economic loss of 90.981 billion yuan.

  The latest disaster data is still under further verification and evaluation statistics.

  People have also begun to examine and reflect on this natural disaster.

  Shi Pu, who suffered heavy losses in the Zhengzhou flood disaster, said in an interview with a reporter from China Business News that although the flood disaster was caused by heavy rain, before the flood, some human and hardware systemic factors had already converged and gathered in the flood. Amplification will eventually cause huge losses to the country and people’s lives and property.

  Shi Pu is a professor at Henan University of Economics and Law. He became known to the public in 2012 due to the “hunger strike to protest food insecurity” in Tongxu County.

  For some hardware problems that existed before the flood, Shi Pu believes that there are ten points, namely:

  (1) The Changzhuang Reservoir and other water conservancy facilities are in disrepair.

  (2) The construction of roads and buildings along the Jialu River caused dozens of sections of blockage, blockage, and narrowing, which formed hidden dangers that seriously affected flood discharge.

  (3) The design standard for drainage of roads in Zhengzhou city is low. The surface engineering is emphasized and the under-road engineering is ignored, resulting in poor drainage.

  (4) Urban non-ecological development, ground hardening affects rainwater infiltration.

  (5) The "sponge city" invested heavily in construction does not meet the standards and becomes an image project, which wastes a lot of money and delays the construction of water conservancy facilities.

  (6) In the rainy season, the main roads will be greened, and the ground and road surface will be excavated, which will cause hidden dangers and affect the dredging.

  (7) Road planning and construction are out of control, resulting in many roads with water accumulation and long-term failure, such as the Guoji section between Huayuan Road and Zhongzhou Avenue.

  (8) The low level of urban traffic planning has led to poor traffic. For this reason, more underground passages have been built to treat symptoms. However, the low drainage design standards and poor quality have caused serious hidden dangers.

  (9) Insufficient or lack of waterproof supporting facilities for underground facilities in urban buildings.

  (10) The lack of systematic facilities for urban flood control, including early warning systems, flood control systems, and flood control materials, equipment and tools.

  "The northern area does not come to floods all the year round, the cadres and the masses have insufficient experience in flood prevention and flood fighting, the engineering system is relatively weak, and the number of dangerous reservoirs and dykes are large. The current and next stage of flood prevention and flood prevention is still severe and complex. The Ministry of State Prevention and Emergency Management will Continue to strengthen overall coordination, and further grasp the measures for flood prevention and disaster relief." Zhou Xuewen, Secretary-General of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, Deputy Minister of Emergency Management and Deputy Minister of Water Resources also at a press conference held on the afternoon of July 28 Said that since the beginning of this year, floods have caused 34.81 million people to be affected, 146 people were killed and missing, 72,000 houses collapsed, and a direct economic loss of 123 billion yuan.

  (Wei Hua and Zhang Jun are pseudonyms in the text)