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China’s heaviest rains in 140 years kill at least 20 people

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At least 20 people have died and more than 200,000 have been evacuated after heavy rains triggered floods and landslides in central China.

The provincial capital of Henan, Zhengzhou, was hit by the heaviest rainfall on record, with more than 600 mm of rain falling in 24 hours, equivalent to about 60% of its annual average.

The city’s subway system was inundated with water, trapping passengers in carriages that were submerged up to their necks. Videos on social media showed people clinging to the ceiling of the train or standing on seats to keep their heads above water.

Rescue workers used ropes and ladders to pull out the stranded commuters, while others were able to escape through the windows or doors. Some passengers said they had been stuck for more than three hours without food, water or ventilation.

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