Efforts pour in to fix damaged infrastructure in rain-ravaged Henan

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 24, 2021
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Rescuers from east China's Jiangxi Province drain rainwater out of a road tunnel in flood-hit Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, July 22, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

When torrential rains battered down and water gushed in at an unimaginable speed, many residents in central China's Henan province suddenly found themselves immersed in waist-high water and totally marooned.

Power, phone signal and broadband networks were all out of service in the worst-hit areas, as the downpour continued to break records and pound a vast region of the populous province.

"The signal was very unstable and there was no electricity or tap water when it poured on Tuesday," said a resident surnamed Li in a residential compound in Zhengdong New District in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. "It was like we were on a lonely island."

Authorities have ramped up efforts to fix the infrastructure facilities, many of which were paralyzed at the height of the rainfall, to get people's lives back on track as quickly as possible.

So far, the torrential rains have claimed dozens of lives and affected about 3 million people.

Zhengzhou bore the brunt of the rain-triggered flooding and saw the equivalent of a year's precipitation in just a few days.

A total of 67 high voltage transmission lines in the city were damaged or their operation suspended, and eight substations halted operation, disrupting the power supply of 775,000 households.

In addition to about 3,600 technicians in Henan, the National Development and Reform Commission has also coordinated about 10,000 maintenance personnel, 181 power generation vehicles and more than 1,000 high-power generators in 24 provinces and cities to help restore the power supply in Zhengzhou.

So far, 189 of the 473 residential compounds with more than 200 households that suffered from power outages in the city proper have seen their power restored, and the remaining households are expected to see power resume on Saturday.

Rain-triggered floods have also cut the water supply of over 1,200 residential quarters in Zhengzhou's main urban area, of them over 96 percent have regained access to tap water, and the water supply is estimated to basically resume by Sunday.

In Mihe Township in Gongyi City, where days of heavy rainfall have disrupted communications and cut off the Internet, a drone was dispatched on Wednesday to provide mobile signal coverage for an area of about 50 square km.

As of Thursday morning, telecom services in Mihe Township had resumed.

Across the province, tens of thousands of police officers have been mobilized to divert traffic and open up disaster relief channels to ensure good traffic order.

As of 10 a.m. Thursday, 204 of Henan's 403 highway toll stations have opened, while 193 have partially opened with traffic control and six others remain closed due to water-logging and flood control.

Transportation through air and rail is also recovering with around-the-clock efforts. Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport scheduled over 540 flights on Friday, about 100 flights more than the previous day.

Railway authorities have issued prompt orders such as limiting speed, circumventing dangers and halting operations for trains running through Zhengzhou.

On Thursday, rainstorms with up to 243 mm of rainfall hit Anyang, Jiaozuo and Nanyang in Henan, as well as parts of Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said.

Large-scale rains in Henan will basically end on Friday, with scattered torrential rains forecast in the western part of the province, the NMC added.

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