BEIJING, July 21 (Xinhua) -- A senior meteorologist has commented on the possible causes of the record rainfall in central China's Henan Province over the past few days that has caused extensive waterlogging and left 25 people dead and seven missing.
According to Chen Tao, chief forecaster of the National Meteorological Center (NMC), the ongoing rainstorms have a number of causes, including the local topography and Typhoon In-fa, which is currently over the Pacific Ocean and has been heading for landfall since Sunday.
Speaking at a Beijing press conference on Wednesday, Chen said that water vapor has been arriving in Henan from the sea ahead of Typhoon In-fa, which is the sixth this year.
Other factors including high pressure systems and the region's special terrain have also contributed to the continuous severe rain in Henan, Chen said.
Torrential rains have swept large areas of Henan Province since last Saturday, leaving dozens dead and injured, and causing severe waterlogging in many cities, especially Zhengzhou, the provincial capital.
Hourly precipitation in Zhengzhou, the center of this round of heavy rainfall, has hit a record high for the Chinese mainland, according to meteorologists.
Zhengzhou registered 201.9 mm of precipitation from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, the highest figure on record.
Meanwhile, from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. on Wednesday, the accumulated precipitation in parts of Zhengzhou exceeded the city's annual average of 641 mm.
The record rainfall and resulting damage have taken many by surprise, with netizens commenting that such downpours only happened "once in a thousand years."
However, Chen said it is hard for meteorologists to draw such a conclusion without the help of reliable long-time meteorological data, adding that there was no rigorous precipitation record available before 1951.
The NMC predicts that Henan will see more rain over the next three days, and it will likely abate on Friday.
Experts have warned of an extremely high risk of disasters caused by the continuous rainfall, calling for local governments to enhance prevention and control of floods and geological disasters and strengthen epidemic prevention work in advance. Enditem