As parts of the world experience devastating droughts and heat waves from the climate crisis, China’s Henan Province, with a population of over 100 million, has experienced torrential rains and flooding. And the capital, Zhengzhou, had the worst conditions, where a local weather commentator called it “the one-time storm in a thousand years.”
At least 25 people died, including 12 who were trapped in a flooded metro train. Hundreds of trains have been stopped due to the flooding, leaving people with no choice but to wade (or swim) through the water-filled streets. Food shortages have also been reported across the province as Chinese authorities deploy relief workers.
Weather disasters are inextricably linked to human-induced climate change. The planet has warmed by 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, according to NASA, and this worsens disasters. The seasons of forest fires are lengthening. Hurricanes become wetter and more dangerous. Heat waves become warmer, more frequent and more durable. Heavier precipitation is triggered more inland flooding. And the cost of climate disasters skyrockets. Ending this vicious circle will require drastically reducing our dependence on climate-polluting fossil fuels.
Here’s a look at the devastation caused by the flooding in China.