At least 12 people have been confirmed dead in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital, where more than 20 centimeters (7.8in) of rain fell in one hour on Tuesday, according to the meteorological observatory.
More than 100,000 people have so far been evacuated from low-lying areas of the city, with thousands of emergency personnel deployed to assist in the effort, according to state-run media.
All of the bodies recovered were taken from the city’s subway system, according to authorities.
Other videos show residents on the street, water up to their hips, working desperately to pull out people trapped in an underground mall using ropes. One clip shared by state-run paper People’s Daily shows motorists on a road making a human chain, to prevent being swept away by the current as they struggle through rushing water.
The heavy rains also caused power outages across the city. One hospital in Zhengzhou, housing nearly 10,000 patients including more than 600 in critical condition, faced an hours-long blackout Tuesday.
Though flooding during the summer months is an annual occurrence in parts of China, recent record breaking rains have alarmed scientists and officials, raising questions as to whether the country is prepared to deal with more extreme and unpredictable weather.
According to the report, Beijing has seen the fastest rise in average temperature with an increase of 0.32 degrees Celsius every 10 years. Guanzhou-Shenzhen has experienced 98 heat waves since 1961 — the majority of which have taken place in the past two decades.
Meanwhile, rainfall is much more volatile, swinging from highs to lows. The report said if global greenhouse emissions peak around 2040, some parts of China like Shanghai would experience a more than 25% increase in extreme rainfall — while other areas, like northwestern Guangzhou-Shenzhen, would see more drought.