In China, a huge cemetery for cars after the floods

(Beijing) Endless rows of mud-stained cars: After the deadly July floods in Zhengzhou (central China), thousands of shipwrecks were stored in a huge parking lot, a symbol of the scale of the tragedy.

Henan Province has begun reconstruction operations after heavy rains last month, which killed more than 300 people, according to the latest official report.

Heavy rain, unseen in six decades, hit the provincial capital, Zhengzhou, on July 20, with most of the deaths recorded. In three days the equivalent of nearly a year of rainfall has decreased.

As the waters rose, motorists were trapped in road tunnels or underground parking lots and dozens of subway users drowned.

Thousands of cars and buildings were also destroyed or damaged.

“We had to abandon our cars when the water started to rise,” Zhengzhou resident Wang told AFP.

The disaster is taking its toll on insurers, with claims totaling $1.7 billion (CAD 2.1 billion), investment bank Goldman Sachs estimated in July.

“But getting compensation has become a real problem with dozens of forms being filled out,” Wang said.

Last week, the Chinese authorities estimated the economic losses caused by the floods at 133.7 billion yuan (26.4 billion Canadian dollars).

At least 238,000 damaged cars have been sent to car cemeteries such as those in the Zhengzhou suburb, Ma Zhao, head of the Henan Insurance Regulatory Authority, said on Tuesday.

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