China on Monday, August 2 confirmed the updated death toll of the recent floods, which had escalated to more than 302 victims, and 50 others remain missing.
The central region of China was hit with torrential rains on July 20, which in sequence came along with devastating floods that caused landslides and overwhelmed dams and rivers.
Zhengzhou, the provincial capital of 12 million people in Henan province and also the worst affected area, confirmed the most tragic figure, with 292 death victims and 47 missing people, according to AP. Three other cities reported ten additional deaths.
The tragic flooding this year had led to the apocalyptic-like subway submerge in Zhengzhou, where streets became rivers and flash floods trapping more than 500 riders in a subway train and 14 of them could not make it.
The heavy downpour had also led to the widespread collapse of homes and landslides, hampering rescue efforts.
China’s meteorological authority said the rain that struck Henan was unexpected which had “smashed historical records,” per the BBC.
“Never in my life had I seen so much rain,” Mr. Liu, a Zhengzhou resident, told the outlet. “There was one hour where the rain was just pouring down on us from the heavens, and everything went completely white.”
The amount of rainfall was said to be as significantly dramatic as “once in a thousand years,” CNN reported.
According to the water resources department of Henan, parts of the province were seeing rain levels of “once in 5,000 years.”
While scientists and engineers are still looking at the sequential causes that led to the disaster, they warned that the lessons learned will have far-reaching implications beyond China.
By far, warmer temperatures from climate change had been suspected to be the main culprit of the inundating rain in the region. Extensive dam construction was warned by scientists as the contributing factor to exacerbated climate change issues in China’s flood zone.
“The intensity and frequency of extreme weather are increasing with climate change, [and] major metropolitan areas around the world are at increased risk,” said Liu Junyan, climate risk project leader in Greenpeace East Asia’s Beijing office, per the ScienceMag.