The Chinese government ordered local authorities to immediately improve urban transport flood controls and emergency response Thursday after a dozen people were killed in a submerged metro amid torrential rains that continue to s ‘cut down on central China.
Some 25 people died in central Henan Province, including the 12 trapped in the subway, where the rains had persisted for a sixth day and spread north to neighboring Hebei Province.
The transport ministry said local authorities must immediately review and rectify any hidden risks on rail transit.
“They must take emergency measures such as suspension of trains, evacuation of passengers and closure of stations in typical situations such as excessively intense storms,” the ministry said.
Hundreds of people were taken to safety earlier this week from the flooded subway in the provincial capital of Henan, Zhengzhou, a city of 12 million people located about 650 km southwest of Beijing.
Media images showed commuters submerged in chest-deep water in dimly lit cabins. A metro station has been reduced to a large churning pool.
Some 617.1mm of rain fell in Zhengzhou from Saturday to Tuesday, almost equivalent to the city’s annual average of 640.8mm.
The audience also looked at the timeliness of weather reports provided by local weather services.
The provincial weather office told state media it released a report warning of the upcoming torrential rains two days in advance.
As of Monday evening, weather services from the province down to the county level have sent 120 million text messages to cellphone users warning them of storms, the Henan Meteorological Bureau said.
Two people died on Wednesday evening after a tornado hit Baoding, a city in Hebei Province about 140 km southwest of Beijing.