Summer of disaster: Extreme weather wreaks havoc worldwide

Extreme weather this summer has flattened picturesque rural communities in Germany with floodwaters, triggered deadly mudslides in India and sparked heat waves and fires that can be seen from space in the western United States and Canada. Floods have also wrought damage in parts of New Zealand, Nigeria and Iran.

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July 22, 2021 - 8:46 AM

People look out at cars sitting in floodwaters after heavy rains hit the city of Zhengzhou in China's central Henan province on July 21, 2021. (STR/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

BEIJING — Torrents of murky brown water gushed past the train window, flowing fast through the subway tunnel. Inside, passengers stood on top of seats, clutching their phones overhead as the muddy tide rose past their chests. Some gasped for air. Others sent desperate last messages to family members, telling them their bank card passcodes and saying goodbye.

“The water outside has already come this high,” one frightened woman said, reaching out to the subway car door in a video that spread quickly online. “My phone is almost dead. I don’t know if this is my last WeChat message.”

The woman, one of some 500 people trapped on a subway amid catastrophic flooding Tuesday night in Zhengzhou, in China’s Henan province, reportedly survived. A dozen people did not.

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