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China relies on sponge cities in its fight against floods

Chaos reigns in Zhengzhou after the heaviest rainfalls in recent history. Since Tuesday, the capital of ten million people has seen as much rainfall as it normally did in eight months. According to official reports, at least 25 people have died within the region by Wednesday evening, with seven missing – but given the horrific images, the actual death toll is likely to rise. In the surrounding province of Henan, more than a million people were affected by floods. Footage shows multi-lane roads turning into raging torrents, sweeping people away. The floodwaters also inundated the subway system, where hundreds of people were temporarily trapped in trains and tunnels. The historic city of Luoyang is also at risk. The military had to blow up a dam on Tuesday night to release floodwaters. The famous Shaolin Monastery and the Longmen Grottoes with thousands of ancient Buddha statues are also at risk of flooding.

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