Severe Rainstorms Kill 16 In Central China

Cars sit in floodwaters after heavy rains hit the city of Zhengzhou in China’s central Henan province on July 21, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT

 

At least 16 people have died after torrential rains caused landslides and flooded a city in central China, with shocking images showing passengers struggling against chest-high water inside a train carriage.

As river embankments were breached in record downpours across Henan province, President Xi Jinping described the situation as “extremely severe” with flood control measures entering a “critical stage”, state media reported Wednesday.

Around 200,000 city residents were evacuated, local government officials said, as soldiers led rescue efforts in Zhengzhou — a city of over 10 million people — where days of rain have inundated the streets and subway.

The rainfall in the region was the heaviest since record-keeping began 60 years ago, with Zhengzhou seeing the equivalent of a year’s average rainfall in just three days.

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Rainstorms submerged Zhengzhou’s metro, killing 12 people and injuring five, while city officials said hundreds were rescued from the subway.

Nerve-shredding images shared on social media showed shocked passengers contending with the fast-rising waters inside a train carriage. Rescuers cut open the roof of the coach to pull people to safety, local media reported.

Others showed dramatic rescues of pedestrians in Zhengzhou from torrents gushing through the streets.

 

Cars sit in floodwaters after heavy rains hit the city of Zhengzhou in China’s central Henan province on July 21, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT

 

At least four were killed in the nearby Gongyi city where houses and walls have collapsed, the official Xinhua news agency said, adding that rainfall had caused multiple landslides.

Relatives outside Zhengzhou made anxious pleas on China’s Weibo for information as communications to the city went down.

“Is the second floor in danger? My parents live there, but I can’t get through to them on the phone,” one user wrote.

“I don’t know more about their situation. I’m in Tianjin and my parents are in Zhengzhou,” she said, giving her surname only as Hou when contacted by AFP.

“I’m very anxious.”

– Army sent –

Authorities have issued the highest warning level for Henan province as floods continue to hammer the region.

As the scale of the disaster continued to unspool on Wednesday, the Chinese army warned that a stricken dam around an hour from Zhengzhou city “could collapse at any time” after being severely damaged in torrential storms.

The regional unit of the People’s Liberation Army said Tuesday that the relentless downpour had caused damage to the Yihetan dam in the nearby city of Luoyang.

On Wednesday morning the PLA said blasting operations had been carried out at the dam and troops had “successfully opened a new flood diversion opening”.

These measures meant the water level had dropped and the “danger has been effectively controlled”.

Soldiers have been deployed to other rivers nearby to reinforce embankments with sandbags as the floods fanned out across Henan and warnings were issued of other near breaches of dams.

 

Cars sit in floodwaters after heavy rains hit the city of Zhengzhou in China’s central Henan province on July 21, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT

 

“Some reservoirs had their dams burst… causing serious injury, loss of life and property damage,” Xi Jinping said, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

“We have already entered the critical stage of flood control, leaders and cadres from all walks of life must… take the lead in commanding, quickly organise forces for flood protection and disaster rescue.”

Annual floods during China’s rainy season cause chaos and wash away roads, crops and houses.

But the threat has worsened over the decades, due in part to widespread construction of dams and levees that have cut connections between the river and adjacent lakes and disrupted floodplains that had helped absorb the summer surge.

Scientists say climate change is also worsening flooding around the world alongside other increasingly extreme weather patterns.

AFP

President Buhari Visits Katsina To Condole With Rainstorm Victims

PHOTOS: Supporters Storm Streets As Buhari Visits Katsina
President Muhammadu Buhari with the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Usman, and Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, during his visit to the state on June 29, 2018.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Katsina State to commiserate with the victims and families of those affected by the rainstorm.

He was received by Governor Aminu Masari and his deputy, as well as other members of his cabinet and senior government officials in the state.

PHOTOS: Supporters Storm Streets As Buhari Visits Katsina

The people of the state also trooped out to welcome the President in the best tradition of ‘Peace and Heritage’ which the state is famed for.

Shortly after his arrival in the state capital, President Buhari visited the palace of the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Usman.

The rainstorm which occurred a fortnight ago caused serious damage to some communities in Mashi and Musawa Local Government Areas (LGAs), as well as Yana village in Charanchi LGA of the state.

Shinkafi, Ambassador Quarters, Kukar Gesa, Tsillitori, Modoji Makera, and the Mobile Police Barracks were also affected by the downpour.

The President’s condolence visit to his home-state is the third in nine days after visiting Bauchi on Thursday last week over the windstorm and market fire.

He had consequently visited Plateau over the attack by suspected herdsmen where no fewer than 100 persons were killed.

In Plateau, President Buhari met with the traditional rulers, religious leaders, representatives of youth, women and trade union groups among other stakeholders in the state.

He had also appealed to them and Nigerians, in general, to live in peace with one another and avoid inflammatory utterances that can promote conflicts.

Meanwhile, the President is expected to depart Abuja for an official visit to Nouakchott, Mauritania, on Saturday.

He will be attending the 31st Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

On the margins of the summit, President Buhari will join other African leaders in an interactive session with President Emmanuel Macron of France on ‘Financing AU-led Peace Support Operations authorised by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Rainstorm Destroys High Tension Poles In Port Harcourt

Falling power poleAbout 96 high tension poles belonging to Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) were destroyed by heavy wind, during the downpour that occurred on Tuesday evening in Port Harcourt.

As a result of the damaged poles with other associated materials such as 150mm aluminum conductor spanning over 32,000 metres, several cross arms, among others were also destroyed.

A cross section of Port Harcourt metropolis has been thrown into darkness.

In the wake of the loss, five 33kv and four 11kv feeders namely; Borikiri 33kv, Rainbow 33kv, Choba 33kv, Rumuolumeni 33kv and UST 33kv were affected.

Others affected are 11kv in Rumuomoi, Federal, Wokoma and Water lines.

The Chief Executive officer of PHED, Mr Jay McCoskey, reacting to the natural disaster that culminated to the loss of supply to the affected areas, appealed to the residents to exercise patience while the damaged poles are being replaced.

rainstrom-in-port-harcourt
One person was killed in earlier storm on Monday

He assured the residents that the management would do everything possible to ensure early restoration of power supply.

“It is regrettable that PHED is facing such a loss at this moment due to natural disaster, but I can guarantee that supply will be restored to the affected areas because we have started sourcing for the materials to replace the damaged poles and other accessories,”  McCoskey said.

Thunderstorm Kills One In Port Harcourt

The rainstorm came a day after a heavy rain with thunderstorm in Port-Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State,  brought down at least two masts, destroying bill boards and some roofs in Ikoku Mile 1 community.

A 16-year-old girl, who was said to be with her mother, was killed.

While two others, including the coach of the Community Football team were left with broken skulls and are currently battling for survival at the hospital.

Rainstorm Destroys Houses in Omu Aran, Oke Ero Communities

Nearly 60 houses have been destroyed in Omu Aran and Egosi Ile communities, Kwara state by a rainstorm which lasted for 45 minutes leading to the massive loss of properties and government structures.

The residents of Omu Aran, Irepodun local government and Egosi Ile in Oke Ero local government of Kwara state have lamented the destruction of their homes and loss of properties which was caused a rainstorm.

The rainstorm which lasted for 45 minutes affected the palace of the immediate past and the private residence of the reigning Olomu of Omu Aran. The oldest clinic, churches, and houses of two widows were also not spared.

The storm also uprooted electric cables, trees and damaged walls.

At Egosi Ile in Oke Ero local government, a 10 minute drive from Omu Aran, the roofs of nearly 20 houses were blown off on the same day.

Most of the houses had their roofs shattered and thrown several meters away from their houses.

The victims said that no lives were lost and have started the reconstruction and renovation of affected buildings; while the aged and the poor have called on the government to come to their aid.

The traditional ruler who was visibly shaken by the unfortunate incident said that great efforts would be needed to resettle most of the victims who are poor.

The state government has however assured that it will address the situation after assessing the extent of the damages.

Osun To Assist Rainstorm Victims

The General Manager, Osun state Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) , Oyetunde Oyesiji has assured victims whose properties were affected by the rainstorm of the government’s readiness to help cushion the effect. 

Speaking to Channels Television in Osogbo, the state capital, Mr. Oyesiji said the effect of the storm is not entirely surprising going by the prediction of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) as regards the heavy rainfall to be expected this year.

He appealed to the people to cooperate with the Urban Renewal Structure of the state by upgrading all old structures.

He also disclosed that the state government in preparation for the rains has drudged about 120KM’s of rivers and gutters that may cause flooding in and across the state.

The SEMA boss also assured that having done an assessment of the damage caused by the rain, the state government will in line with its people friendly policies help to cushion the effect on the affected residents.

Ibadan Plunged Into Darkness As Storm Damages Powerlines

Not less than 20 communities in the capital of Oyo state, Ibadan, have been plunged into darkness following a 3-hour rainstorm that destroyed several Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) installations in the city, living some persons dead and many others injured and homeless.

The rainstorm which started around 11pm Sunday night and lasted about 3hours , caused monumental damage to homes, schools, markets, places of worship, and other business premises.

Several power lines installed by PHCN were also destroyed leaving about 20 communities without power in the ancient city.

The Assistant General Manager Public Affairs Ibadan Distribution Company, Mr. Jide Oyenuga, confirmed that areas like Apata , Mokola, Felele have been plunged into darkness as a result of the rainstorm and disclosed that inventory is still being taken for other affected areas within the city.

Some of the other areas affected include Felele, Eyin Grammar, Sanyo, Bashorun , Apata, Mokola, Ring Road, Olomi, Idi Ayunre, Molete, Oke Ado etc.

Residents who spoke to Channels Television explained that the whirlwind which preceded the rain started suddenly and lasted only 20 minutes before the rains came in torrents.

At one of the affected local government areas, the transition chairman of Oluyole local government, Honourable Ayodeji Abass Alesinloye sued for calm among residents and called on the federal and state governments to assist the displaced.

Though the magnitude of the storm is yet to determined, it has been described by many as the fiercest yet, as it hauled almost everything within its trajectory for 20 minutes and ushered in rain that poured for 3 hours unabated.

The Oyo state capital has in the last two years recorded massive flooding that has destroyed property and displaced a number of people.

 

Rainstorm Wreaks Havoc In Owo

The Residents of the ancient town of Owo, the headquarters of Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State are presently counting their losses as a result of the havoc done by heavy rainstorms in the town on Monday night that left the roofs of over 200 houses blown off and several properties destroyed.

Some of the residents who spoke with Channels Television’s Correspondent narrated that the slight showers, accompanied by strong storms that wreaked the havoc started at about 7:30 in the evening and lasted for about an hour.

Electricity supply to the town has been disrupted as about 25 electric poles were destroyed by the heavy rainstorms.

Buildings affected by the storms include several residential houses, schools, hospitals, restaurants and shops.

Speaking to Newsmen after assessing the extent of damage done by the rainstorms, a member of the Ondo State House of Assembly representing Owo Constituency 1, Ayo Arowele expressed his sympathy to the victims of the storm and promised them that the state government will assist them in re- constructing their houses.