The death toll from central China's devastating floods has risen to 33, at least 12 of which occurred in a rain-filled subway network where terrifying video shows passengers trapped up to their necks in rising water.
One video from Henan's capital Zhengzhou widely circulated across Chinese state media and social websites shows a dark carriage with passengers clinging to ceiling hand rails in a a state of shock with the majority of their bodies submerged.
Videos from the subway has left Weibo, one of China's main social media sites, horrified, with hundreds of thousands of users expressing their disbelief.
"This is too scary, I hope they are all safe," one person wrote.
Authorities say 500 people were pulled from the flooded subway however 12 bodies were retrieved.
Other videos show passengers being led along a narrow emergency walkway inside a tunnel as water gushes over the tracks below them.
A further seven people are unaccounted for as authorities expect the death toll to rise further.
"The water reached my chest," a survivor surnamed Li said.
"I was really scared. The most terrible thing was not the water, but the air that was getting thinner and thinner. Many people had symptoms of breathing difficulties."
Locals say there was an increase in subway passengers as the rain had earlier shut down the city's bus services.
Another disturbing video shows a man trapped inside his van as the flood waters lap over his windscreen. It is unclear if he survived.
Another video shows people on top of their vehicles as they floated in the current of the floodwaters.
From Saturday to Tuesday, 617.1mm of rain fell in Zhengzhou, almost the equivalent of its annual average of 640.8mm. A one-hour period on Tuesday brought a staggering 201.9mm.
The three days of rain matched a level seen only "once in a thousand years", the Zhengzhou weather bureau said.
Chinese companies, insurers and a state-backed bank said they had offered donations and emergency aid to local governments in Henan amounting to 1.935 billion yuan ($400 million).
Schools and hospitals were marooned and people caught in the floods flocked to shelter in libraries, cinemas and museums. More than 1.24 million people have been affected, state media said.
A rescue team of 1,800 firefighters has been deployed to the flood-hit regions from seven neighbouring provinces, together with boats, pumping vehicles and flood rescue kits.
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