By Liu Jianwei, Wu Min, Sun Xingwei
ZHENGZHOU, July 21 -- As of press time, the Chinese PLA Central Theater Command has mobilized more than 5,700 troops, including armed police forces and militia, along with more than 148 vehicles and vessels in central China's Henan Province, to engage in disaster relief in 30 places in parallel, after downpours dramatically hit many places across this central China province and caused serious waterlogging, mudslides and landslides.
On the early morning of July 20, the dam of Yihetan in Yichuan County, Luoyang City was breached and the dike was seriously damaged. An engineer chemical defense brigade under the PLA 83rd Group Army was quickly dispatched to explode dam to shunt the flood.
At about 16:00 on July 20, Changzhuang reservoir in Zhengzhou’s Zhongyuan District was opened to discharge flood. The Zhengzhou detachment under the People’s Armed Police (PAP) Henan Contingent dispatched more than 150 soldiers to join the disaster relief.
In the wee hours of July 21, a brigade of airborne troops sent 650 members and 38 vehicles to the breach section of Jialu River in Xiangfu District to reinforce the dam.
By this morning, nearly 200 service members from the PLA Rocket Force in Henan rushed to flood-stricken Zhengzhou City, bringing with canoes, life vests and other necessary life-saving devices, and large-piece equipment will follow as needed.
Militia members were also mobilized to resist the flood and save people in the shortest time.
The PLA Zhengzhou Garrison mobilized more than 1,000 militiamen to evacuate the residents, divert flood and block leaks.
At 18:00 on July 20, many passengers were trapped inside a subway in Zhengzhou due to flooded tunnel and power failure. Over 100 militia members rushed and successfully rescued them.
The People’s Armed Forces Department affiliated to Jiaozuo Military Sub-command mobilized militia forces in heavy rain to relocate 2,500 residents safely, while militia members assigned to Kaifeng and Luoyang Military Sub-command joined local disaster relief.
Furthermore, the PLA Zhengzhou Joint Logistic Support Center also emergently dispatched nearly 200 service members with equipment. The No. 988 Military Hospital sent medics and ambulances to transport the injured. The PLA Information Engineering University also organized over 300 service members to join the battle against the flood in the first place.
It is learnt that the Joint Commanding Center of the PLA Central Theater Command is now running around the clock to command rescue operations on the frontline.