Tech companies donate a billion yuan as Zhengzhou grapples with flood damage

Domestic News

Relief efforts continue in Zhengzhou and surrounding areas of Henan Province after record-breaking rains flooded the city.

People try to commute in Zhengzhou this morning after yesterday’s deluge
People try to commute in Zhengzhou this morning after yesterday’s deluge. Reuters/Oriental Image

Yesterday, Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, was inundated by the heaviest rainfall in decades, trapping passengers in subway cars as floodwaters rose and turning city streets into rivers.

  • About 60% to 80% of the city’s average annual rainfall fell in one 24-hour period.
  • Some media reports are calling it “the worst rain in a thousand years,” and the Chinese government says (in Chinese) it was a “once in more than five thousand years” occurrence.

Zhengzhou and more than a dozen neighboring cities have suspended public transportation.

  • The death toll has climbed to 25 people, with 7 reported missing.
  • More than 100,000 people have been evacuated and thousands of emergency personnel dispatched. But city residents who managed to stay indoors when the flood hit have largely been out of harm’s way.
  • General Secretary Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 called the situation “very severe,” state news reported.

Widespread power outages and structural damage continue to hamper relief efforts.

  • A blackout hit the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, which houses nearly 10,000 patients, on Tuesday night, with social media photos showing the first floor submerged in water. The power has since been restored and 600 patients transferred to nearby facilities.
  • The PLA blasted a dam in nearby Luoyang to release floodwaters on Tuesday night, as several dams and reservoirs breached warning levels.
  • Fears over possible disease outbreaks from residual water and debris are a top concern.

Zhengzhou and Big Tech

Zhengzhou is the world’s largest production base for iPhones. The city houses a factory run by Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer for Apple, which experienced temporary power cuts and water seepage, though damage appears limited.

A rush of donations have poured in to aid relief efforts. China’s tech giants — Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance, and Meituan — have pledged a total of nearly 1 billion yuan ($154 million) for flood relief efforts, and banks and insurance companies have fast-tracked emergency compensation and insurance payouts.

Nadya Yeh