Torrents of murky brown water gushed past the train window, flowing fast through the subway tunnel. Inside, passengers stood on top of seats, clutching their phones overhead as the muddy tide rose past their chests. Some gasped for air. Others sent desperate last messages to family members, telling them their bank card passcodes and saying goodbye.
“The water outside has already come this high,” one frightened woman said, reaching out to the subway car door in a video that spread quickly online. “My phone is almost dead. I don’t know if this is my last WeChat message.”
The woman, one of some 500 people trapped on a subway amid catastrophic flooding Tuesday night in Zhengzhou, in China’s Henan province, reportedly survived. A dozen people did not. By midday Thursday, the death toll had climbed to 33 and eight people were reported missing. More than 3 million people had been affected by the rain, including 376,000 who were relocated to shelters.