Heavy rain floods 12 cities in China, storm-hit dam 'may collapse at any time' - GulfToday

Heavy rain floods 12 cities in China, storm-hit dam 'may collapse at any time'


Vehicles are stranded after a heavy downpour in Zhengzhou city. AP

Gulf Today Report

Heavy rains swept through central China's Henan Province on Tuesday, flooding the streets of 12 cities and closing the world-renowned Shaolin Temple.

The densely populated region, which is twice the size of Austria, has been hit by storms for days in an unusually active rainy season.

There were no reports of deaths or injuries, but the daily lives of the region's 94 million people were turned upside down because of the interruption of transportation.

On the other hand, the Chinese authorities said that a 20-metre breach had opened up at the Yihetan dam in Luoyang city in central Henan and warned "the dam may collapse at any time."

Train services were suspended in Henan, a major logistics hub, many highways were closed, and flights were delayed or cancelled.

State television showed residents wading through knee-level water to cross flooded street intersections in the city of Zhengzhou, on the banks of the Yellow River.

China-floods Heavy downpour in Zhengzhou city, central China. AP

Pictures on social networking sites in Ruzhou, southwest of Zhengzhou, showed torrents sweeping the streets, with cars and other vehicles on their way.

The rise of the Yi River also threatens to overrun the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with 1,000-year-old Buddhist statues carved into limestone cliffs near Luoyang.

Like the Longmen Grottoes, the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng City is temporarily closed.

The temple is famous in the West for its martial arts.

The rain is expected to stop by Thursday.

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