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Damaged cars that were swept away by floodwaters piled on an expressway on July 22 in Zhengzhou, China. Photo: Bai Zhoufeng/VCG via Getty Images

Flooding from torrential rain in China's Henan province has killed at least 33 people this week and eight more remain missing, according to CNN.

The big picture: Flooding has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and led to at least 1.22 billion yuan (around $190 million) in damage across the province, which is home to more than 99 million people.

Flooding was particularly damaging in Zhengzhou, Henan's capital, where at least 12 people died after being trapped in an overflowing subway.

  • Another four people died in a village near Gongyi, a city west of Zhengzhou, according to the New York Times.

By the numbers: Zhengzhou saw 31.02 inches of rainfall in three days, which is roughly 15 months' of worth of precipitation, according to meteorologist Jonathan Erdman of the Weather Channel.

  • Eight of those inches fell in just one hour, which set a national record rainfall rate and compares to some of the highest one-hour totals globally.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: Studies show that as the planet warms due to human activities — such as the burning of fossil fuels for energy — heavy precipitation events are becoming more likely and more severe.

  • This was on display in Henan, as well as in Europe, where devastating flooding hit several countries, including Germany.

What's next: The death toll is expected to rise as rescue operations continue, and landslides and widespread damage to buildings have hampered searches.

In photos:
Firefighters rescuing people in Zhengzhou on July 22. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Damaged vehicles stuck in a muddy road in Gongyi city on July 22. Photo: Jade Gao/AFP via Getty Images
A person carrying a bag through a flooded street in Gongyi on July 22. Photo: Jade Gao/AFP via Getty Images
People talking in a destroyed street in Gongyi on July 22. Photo: Jade Gao/AFP via Getty Images

Go deeper

Updated Sep 14, 2021 - Science

Hurricane Nicholas makes landfall in Texas

Weather conditions are seen in Galveston, Texas, ahead of Hurricane Nicholas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Hurricane Nicholas made landfall near Sargent Beach, Texas, Tuesday morning — threatening to bring up to 18 inches of rainfall and flooding to parts of the state and Louisiana, per the National Hurricane Center.

What's happening: Heavy rains, high winds and "dangerous" storm surges were ongoing, said the NHC, confirming just before 2am that the Category 1 hurricane had hit the state. Nearly 200,000 customers had lost power in Texas by 3:30am, per the utility tracking site poweroutage.us.

22 mins ago - World

Blinken, Austin call out China at event on Australia security pact

Blinken and Austin. Photo: Andrew Harnik/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin condemned China's "aggressive" and "destabilizing" behavior at a press conference Thursday, as they inaugurated a major new trilateral security partnership with Australia and the U.K.

Why it matters: China was not explicitly mentioned in President Biden's announcement of the AUKUS alliance, through which the U.S. and the U.K. will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines as part of a broader effort to ensure "peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific."

2020 was the deadliest year for environmental defenders

Engineer Sandra Cuéllar is one of many Colombians who've gone missing or been killed for their environmental activism. Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images

Latin America and the Caribbean is the deadliest region for environmental defenders, a violent record that has global repercussions.

Why it matters: The region has several of the most biodiverse areas of the planet, but they are constantly threatened by logging, mining or aquifer overexploitation.