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People walking down a flooded road in Zhengzhou, China, on July 20. Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Torrential rain caused severe flooding in parts of China's Henan province on Tuesday, killing 12 and forcing more than 100,000 people to evacuate their homes, per Reuters.

The latest: Zhengzhou, Henan's capital, picked up 21.75 inches of rain over the 24-hour period ending on Tuesday. That's roughly 87% of the city's average annual precipitation in 24 hours, and about the same as its average seven-month total from April to October, according to the Weather Channel.

The big picture: Over a dozen cities were affected by flooding, though it was particularly bad in Zhengzhou where at least 12 people are dead.

  • The city's subway system was inundated, trapping passengers in waist-high floodwaters. Several cars were washed down streets.
  • In Dengfeng, an aluminum alloy plant exploded after floodwater entered a tank containing a high-temperature solution. No one was reported injured or missing from the accident, according to Reuters.
  • The Chinese military said a dam in Luoyang has developed a breach and was on the verge of collapsing, the BBC reported. The rain was forecast to stop by Thursday, per Reuters.

By the numbers: From Saturday to Tuesday, 3,535 weather stations in Henan recorded rainfall exceeding 2 inches, Reuters noted.

  • 1,614 of the stations reported levels above 4 inches (100 mm) and 151 were above 10 inches during the same period.

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.

  • The rains and flooding come barely a week after floods devastated parts of Europe killing more than 180, with the biggest toll in Germany.
  • This has played out worldwide in recent years and showcased the inadequacy of current infrastructure to withstand a more volatile climate.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Oct 28, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Des Moines' record October rainfall

Expand chart
Data: Iowa Environmental Mesonet; Note: Days with trace amounts of precipitation not counted; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Des Moines' had more rainfall in the last seven days than most Octobers in the last decade — accumulating a heavy 5 inches of precipitation.

The reason: There's been a slow-moving weather system over the metro, allowing precipitation to build up over time, said Andrew Ansorge, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Des Moines.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Chargés d'Affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and non-essential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten embassy's ability to assist Americans.

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).