Heavy rainfall inundated streets and caused major rivers to burst their banks in the central province of Henan on Tuesday.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) also reported that the storm had damaged the Yihetan dam near the city of Luoyang. They warned that “the dam might collapse at any time” after a 20 meter breach had appeared in the structure.
Officials in the provincial capital of Zhengzhou say 12 people have died and five others have been injured. The Chinese central government upgraded its flood emergency response from level III to level II on Wednesday due to the crisis.
Local authorities in Henan said thousands of people have been evacuated from the city as a result of the floods.
Unusually heavy rain has been falling in the province — twice the size of Austria and with a population of 94 million — since the weekend.
A video shared widely over social media showed torrents of water cascading through one of the city’s subway stations as well as people standing waist-deep in water inside a subway train.
Summer often brings heavy rain and flooding to the region, but growing cities and changes to land use have increased the costs of flood damage.
The flooding in central China comes days after catastrophic flooding led to the deaths of over 160 people in western Germany.
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