Rescuers have recovered the bodies of three workers in a flooded tunnel under construction in a southern Chinese city, as search efforts for 11 others trapped since Tuesday continue.
With heavy downpours hitting central China in recent days, devastating flooding is wreaking havoc in many areas.
Rain continued to pound down in the province Henan on Tuesday, bursting the banks of major rivers, flooding the streets of several cities and trapping subway passengers in deep floodwaters.
Henan, which is double the size of Austria, has been hit by storms since the weekend in an unusually active rainy season.
In Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan on the banks of the Yellow River, more than 200mm of rain fell in one hour on Tuesday, forcing the city to stop all subway train services.
Dramatic video shared on social media showed commuters waist-deep in murky floodwaters on a subway train and an underground station turned into a large, churning pool.
An operation is reportedly underway to rescue passengers stranded in deep floodwater on underground trains.
Henan is a major logistics hub but train services were suspended, while many highways were closed and flights delayed or cancelled.
In Ruzhou, a city southwest of Zhengzhou, streets have been turned into torrents, sweeping away cars and other vehicles, footage on social media showed.
A rising Yi River also threatened to hit the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring millennium-old Buddhist statues etched into limestone cliffs near the city of Luoyang.
Like the Longmen Grottoes, the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng city, famous in the West for its martial arts, has been temporarily shut.
More than 10,000 residents of Henan province were moved to shelters, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Also in Dengfeng, an aluminium alloy plant exploded on Tuesday as water from a river surged into the factory.
At least 31 large and medium-sized reservoirs in the province have exceeded their warning levels.
From Saturday to Tuesday, 3,535 weather stations in Henan saw rainfall exceed 50mm, of which 1,614 registered levels above 100mm and 151 above 250mm.
The highest was in Lushan city, which saw 498mm of rain, according to the provincial weather bureau.
“This is the heaviest rain since I was born, with so many familiar places flooded,” said an internet user in the inundated city of Gongyi on Chinese social media.
Meanwhile, three bodies have been recovered after a tunnel flooded in a southern Chinese city.
Crews have also been working to pump out water from the Shijingshan tunnel, which lies under a reservoir and was part of an expressway being built in the city of Zhuhai, in Guangdong province close to Hong Kong.
The rescue effort, also involving divers and robots, has been hampered by carbon monoxide fumes from machinery being used in the tunnel as part of the operation.