China: after the floods, the city of Zhengzhou heals its wounds

Rescuers evacuate villagers stranded by flood water following heavy rains, in Donghenan village in Xingyang city, Henan province, July 21, 2021. REUTERS - STRINGER

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3 min

The equivalent of a year of rain fell in three days in central China, in Henan province, one of the most affected.

Three million people are affected and at least 33 people have lost their lives.

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With our special correspondent in Zhengzhou,

St├ęphane Lagarde

This Thursday, July 22, hundreds of thousands of homes are still deprived of electricity, water and internet after

the floods that hit the province

.

The water has returned to

Zhengzhou

, but the city remains marked by the rains which have drowned most of the neighborhoods.

An impressive ballet of tow trucks parades through the streets.

Damaged vehicles can be seen everywhere with flooded engines and high concrete exchangers transformed into parking lots.

Cars are in the opposite direction in the middle of the expressway, and others climbed on the hills of a wooded park usually reserved for joggers or walkers, a sign of the panic which won the inhabitants Tuesday evening in front of the force raging elements.

This Thursday morning again, the firefighters in the east of the city were bringing food and help to the elderly, especially to get around.

Because in most neighborhoods, there is still no electricity, little or no public transport, so you have to walk a lot to get WiFi and hear from your loved ones.

Over 300,000 people evacuated, overcrowded hotels

Neighborhoods are plunged into darkness and many hotels are stormed by locals looking for accommodation, as many apartments are still without electricity and sometimes flooded for the first floors.

The rooms are therefore overcrowded with sometimes five people.

Regarding the stores, some were stormed on Wednesday to try to bring food, instant noodles or others to last a few days, because many here expect more rains.

It will be necessary for the inhabitants to arm themselves with patience because the situation could not be reestablished "for 

a week at least 

", entrusted a hotelier.

In total, three towns were affected in the province and 376,000 people were evacuated as

the rains

worry as they move north.

The authorities estimate the damage at 160 million euros, especially to crops in Henan.

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  • China

  • Natural disasters

  • Severe weather