Army issues dam warning :
Army issues dam warning as Several people killed and thousands evacuated in Henan province as torrential rains cause flooding.
The Chinese military has warned that a stricken dam in the center of the country “could collapse at any time” after being severely damaged by torrential storms that killed at least three people and crippled the region.
Meteorological authorities issued the highest level of warning for central Henan Province as torrential rains caused widespread disruption and evacuation of residents from flooded streets.
On Tuesday evening, the regional People’s Liberation Army unit warned that the relentless downpour caused a 20-meter (66-foot) breach in the Yihetan Dam in Luoyang – a city of about seven million people. – with the risk that it “can collapse at any time”.
The PLA’s central theater command said it had sent soldiers to carry out an emergency response, including explosions and flood diversions.
“On July 20, a 20-meter breach occurred at the Yihetan Dam… the bank was severely damaged and the dam can collapse at any time,” he said in the statement.
More than 10,000 residents of Henan Province have been transferred to shelters, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
The province, home to the Shaolin Temple and many other cultural sites, is one of the most populous in China and a major base for industry and agriculture.
Floods are frequent during the rainy season in China, causing annual chaos and washing away roads, crops and homes.
But the threat has worsened over the decades, in part due to the widespread construction of dams and dikes.
“I have never seen such a violent downpour”
In Zhengzhou City of Henan, at least one person has died and two more have been missing since heavy rains began to hit the city, according to People’s Daily, which reported houses collapsed. .
Local media reported that two people died when a wall collapsed in another part of the city.
Some people spent the night at work or checked into hotels.
Wang Guirong, a 56-year-old restaurant manager, said she planned to sleep on the sofa in her restaurant after learning that there was no electricity in her neighborhood.
“I have lived in Zhengzhou all my life and have never seen such a severe thunderstorm as it is today,” Wang said.
State Grid Zhengzhou Power Supply Co said a downtown substation was forced to close because of the rain.
According to meteorological authorities, rainfall was the highest on record since records began 60 years ago, with the city having recorded an average year of rainfall in just three days.
Authorities closed the flooded Zhengzhou metro and canceled hundreds of flights.
Unverified videos on social media showed passengers in a flooded underground train car in Zhengzhou clinging to the handles as the water inside rose to shoulder height, some standing on seats.
On its official Weibo account, firefighters shared information that passengers were being rescued from stranded trains, but did not release their own statement.
One passenger’s account said firefighters and rescuers cut a hole in the roof of his car and evacuated the passengers one by one.
Footage showed a man sitting on top of his half-submerged car in an underpass.