Heavy rainfall in central China’s Henan province has killed 12 people in its capital, Zhengzhou, and has led to the relocation of about 100,000 people to safe zones, state media Xinhua reported on Wednesday, citing the local government.
Both Henan province and Zhengzhou municipal meteorological bureaus raised the emergency response for the disaster to level 1, with forecasts predicting heavy rains in the province to last until Wednesday night, Xinhua reported.
Henan province has been hit by storms since the weekend in an unusually active rainy season, resulting in bursting of major river banks and flooding of streets of a dozen cities, upending daily lives of millions of people.
Overnight, local authorities announced that the rainfall had caused a 20-meter breach in the Yihetan dam in the city of Luoyang, and that the dam “could collapse at any time”.
A division of China’s People’s Liberation Army had been sent to the site for flood fighting and rescue, authorities added.
Separately, Zhengzhou’s flood control headquarters said that water storage at the Guojiazui reservoir is at “major risk” of dam failure and the local government was ordering evacuations.
The Zhengzhou airport announced on Tuesday evening it would temporarily suspend subways and inter-city trains heading to and from the airport, and it would not accept incoming flights from 8 pm local time (1200 GMT) on Tuesday to 12 pm on Wednesday.