A record-breaking downpour has Zhengzhou under water.

July 20, 2021, 36Kr

A flood has covered Zhengzhou under water, causing 12 fatalities so far. Two hundred thousand people have been evacuated while relief efforts are underway, local media reported.

Over 20 cm of rain fell in one hour on Tuesday, leading to flash floods across the provincial capital of Henan, home to more than 12 million people. The rainfall was the heaviest on record for the city.

One viral video showed subway passengers trapped in their underground train cars as floodwaters rose above waist level.

7月20日晚,郑州暴雨地铁5号线一车厢多人被困,水位淹过肩膀。根据郑州地铁晚上发布的消息,受持续暴雨影响,郑州地铁全线网车站已暂停运营服务,消防人员正在救援。 pic.twitter.com/wCiz7TGhki

— The Paper 澎湃新闻 (@thepapercn) July 20, 2021

Chinese tech companies are pouring in cash and developing information portals to relay and broadcast data about the floods. Here is a roundup of some of these initiatives.

The Alibaba Foundation has donated RMB 100 million (USD 15.4 million) to support the Henan provincial government’s relief efforts, and the Jack Ma Foundation will follow up with an RMB 50 million pledge. Alibaba Cloud’s smart city platform is coordinating ambulance dispatches.

AutoNavi, Alibaba’s map app, now shows users in Henan areas that have been flooded. A button on the interface takes users to a page that provides information about rescue efforts, the contact information of rescue teams, and the locations of shelters. Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistics arm, is moving supplies through the city.

Tencent’s charity foundation has earmarked RMB 100 million for frontline organizations and nonprofits. Tencent has built a portal on QQ to enable “one-click” dial-out connections with rescue teams across Henan Province. At the same time, the company’s health division, Tencent Health, is disseminating information about how to prevent being caught in storms and the essential supplies that households should have in the event of devastating weather patterns.

ByteDance has donated RMB 100 million through its charity foundation. The funds will primarily be used to ensure that children affected by the flood are relocated to safe environments, with a follow-up for education services. The company activated a “mutual assistance” channel on Douyin and has a portal where users can seek help if they require aid.

Xiaomi has set aside RMB 50 million for rescue teams, supplies, and reconstruction efforts after the floodwaters are drained.

Pinduoduo added RMB 100 million to the pot. Its community group-buying service, Duoduo Maicai, will be used as a distribution network for food and medication. Its distribution points in the city are open to anyone who needs to seek shelter.

Baidu is donating RMB 90 million to relief efforts. Its app also has an emergency portal with information about the floods and means to contact rescue teams.

Kuaishou is putting RMB 50 million up for the Henan government to distribute for immediate relief actions and post-flood rebuilding. Oppo matched that amount and gave it to the Henan Charity Network. Its stores are open to anyone who needs to charge their phones, while food and water are being distributed at these shops.

Rescue and relief efforts are ongoing. It is unclear if the death toll will rise.

Portions of this article were produced based on information compiled by 36Kr.


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