China: Death toll triples to more than 300 from flooding in Henan province

Category : Science/Environment

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. toll / toʊl / (n.) – the number of people who died or were injured during a disaster, accident, etc.

    That was a really strong hurricane. I’m worried the death toll is going to be quite high.

  2. inundate / ˈɪn ənˌdeɪt / (v.) – to cover an area with water

    If the river doesn’t stop rising soon, it’s going to inundate the city.

  3. wash away / wɑʃ əˈweɪ / (phrasal v.) – to remove or carry something away using water

    Some boats that weren’t tied securely were washed away by the strong waves.

  4. trap / træp / (v.) – to make someone or something unable to escape

    The people trapped in the elevator are shouting for help.

  5. on behalf of (someone/something) / ɑn bɪˈhæf əv / (idiom) – as a representative of another person or group

    Khalil received the award on behalf of his company.


Read the text below.

Recent flooding in central China has killed over 300 people, three times the previously announced toll, authorities said Aug. 2.

The Henan provincial government said 302 people died and 50 remain missing. The vast majority of the victims were in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital.

Record rainfall inundated the city on July 20, turning streets into rushing rivers and flooding at least part of a subway line. Video posted online showed vehicles being washed away and desperate people trapped in subway cars as the waters rose. Fourteen people died in the subway flooding.

The previous death toll, announced July 30, was 99.

Authorities said 189 people were killed by floods and mudslides — 54 in house collapses and 39 in underground areas such as basements and garages and including those on Zhengzhou Metro’s Line 5.

Wang Kai, the governor of Henan province, expressed deep condolences to the victims and sympathies to the families on behalf of the Henan Communist Party committee. (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Video posted online showed vehicles being washed away and desperate people trapped in subway cars as the waters rose. In your opinion, what, if anything, could’ve been done to prevent these incidents (ex. move cars to higher places, close the subway)? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think most people realize how dangerous rising water can be? Would you ever consider walking or driving in a flooded area? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Some areas often experience flooding and mudslides. Do you think it’s safe to live in these areas, or should they be avoided? Why? Discuss.
  • What should people do to prepare for flooding and mudslides (ex. keep important things all in one box, prepare sandbags)? Why? Discuss.
Category : Science/Environment