China floods: People unite on social media to help flood victims

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BBC News 21 July, 2021 - 10:47pm 35 views

Why is there flooding in China?

Because of the enormous demand for food and housing (China population) in China, the natural drainage system has been damaged, water logging leading to problems in inner city development. Many dams have been built along the Yangtze river, reducing the amount of water which could flow through the river. wikipedia.org2016 China floods

At least 33 people have died in the province after Zhengzhou city saw a year's worth of rainfall in three days.

From sharing public health information to contacts for support, China's Weibo platform became an online space connecting people seeking help with rescue teams.

Encouraging hashtags such as "Henan, stay strong!" also quickly went viral.

As people shared tales of horror and pleaded for help online, thousands of social media users responded by redirecting their Weibo posts to emergency rescue teams so that they knew where to go.

For instance, as news emerged that various trains were being stranded after rail lines got submerged, people put together lists of each train number and the resources its passengers needed.

Some put together text-only versions of critical contact lists, after discovering that people in some areas could not download images because heavy rains had affected internet speeds.

Netizens also helped to organise streams of information so that it was up-to-date and clear.

According to local media reports, residents living near the Tielu Railway Station also delivered food and bottled water to passengers stuck in a train after the hashtag "K226 call for emergency rescue" was viewed more than 800 million times.

A hashtag related to menstruation amid the floods had more than 200 million views, as doctors and social workers reminded women to change their sanitary pads frequently to avoid the risk of infection. Others posted addresses to locations where women could collect free sanitary products.

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3 passenger trains halted for over 40 hours, dam blasted to relieve floodwater in China

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At least 10 trains carrying around 10,000 passengers were stopped, according to Caixin, a business news magazine. The transport ministry said on its social media account that sections of 26 highways were closed due to the rain.

The death toll had risen to 25 by the time the dam was blasted. Another seven people were reported missing, according to provincial officials at a news conference.

A video posted on Twitter by news site The Paper showed subway passengers standing in chest-high muddy brown water as torrents raged in the tunnel outside.

Transport and work have been disrupted throughout the province, with rain turning streets into rapidly flowing rivers, washing away cars and rising into people's homes.

A blackout shut down ventilators at the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, forcing staff to use hand-pumped airbags to help patients breathe, according to the city's Communist Party committee. It said more than 600 patients were being transferred to other hospitals.

A woman aboard a subway in a flooded tunnel told her husband the water almost reached her neck and passengers had trouble breathing, the Henan Business Daily newspaper reported.

It said staff at a subway station told her husband all passengers had been evacuated but acknowledged that wasn't so after he started a video chat with his wife on his cellphone showing she still was aboard.

The precise times and locations of the deaths and disappearances weren't immediately clear, although the province said more than 100,000 people have been evacuated to safety.

Henan province has many cultural sites and is a major base for industry and agriculture. It is crisscrossed by multiple waterways, many of them linked to the Yellow River, which has a long history of bursting its banks during periods of intensive rainfall.

State media on Wednesday showed waters at waist height, with rain still coming down.

To the north of Zhengzhou, the famed Shaolin Temple, known for its Buddhist monks' mastery of martial arts, was also badly hit.

China routinely experiences floods during the summer, but the growth of cities and conversion of farmland into subdivisions have worsened the impact of such events.

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