image copyrightReutersimage captionHenan province is currently under a red warning, the highest alert, for rain

An operation is under way to rescue passengers submerged in waist-deep floodwaters on a subway train in China.

The passengers were travelling in Zhengzhou, in central Henan province on Tuesday, when they became stranded among the rising water.

Henan province has been hit hard by heavy rain in recent days resulting in flooding that has affected more than a dozen cities in the region.

In Zhengzhou, the city's entire subway system has been forced to close.

Video and images posted to social media show people standing on the train's seat to try and keep above the water.

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
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It's thought that rain water poured into the underground tunnels and trains.

Emergency workers arrived at the scene at 20.35 local time (12.35 GMT) and were rescuing passengers one by one, the state-run People's Daily reported.

One person who went by the name Xiaopei wrote a post on social media site Weibo begging for help. "The water in the carriage has reached my chest. I can't speak anymore," they said. Henan fire department later confirmed that Xiaopei had been rescued.

The water level in the train has dropped and people are not thought to be in any danger, according to local media.

Subway stations elsewhere in the city were affected. Video posted online shows a number of stations inundated with flood water.

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Henan province, home to 94 million people, has had an unusually active rainy season.

The province's meteorological station issued a red warning, the highest alert, for heavy rain on Tuesday.

Zhengzhou recorded more than 200mm of rain in one hour on Tuesday. A number of highways have closed and some flights have been delayed or cancelled.

In Dengfeng, an aluminium alloy plant exploded on Tuesday as water from a river surged into the factory, Reuters news agency reports.