Two dams in North China's Inner Mongolia collapsed on Sunday, July 18, 2021, after heavy rains falling since Saturday. Local citizens were evacuated before the collapse and while material damage is huge, there are no reports of casualties. The combined water storage capacity of both reservoirs was 46 million m3 (1.6 trillion ft3).
The first dam collapsed at the Yongan Reservoir in the city of Hulunbuir at 13:48 LT, sending a large amount of floodwater into Xinfa reservoir, located 13 km (8 miles) downstream. At about 15:30 LT, the second dam collapsed at Xinfa reservoir (capacity 38 million m3 (1.3 trillion ft3)).
"On the night of the 18th, the flood has merged into the mainstream of the Nuomin River. Flooding caused the G111 national highway in Mo Banner to collapse, causing road disruptions. Downstream villages and farmlands have been turned into a sea of water," according to China Observer.
According to the Ministry of Water Resources, 87 mm (3.4 inches) of rain fell in Hulunbuir on July 17 and 18 and as much as 223 mm (8.8 inches) at the Morin Dawa monitoring station.
Hulunbuir city officials said 16 660 people have been affected and 21 775 ha (53 807 acres) of farmland submerged. 22 bridges were destroyed, as well as 124 culverts and 15.6 km (9.7 miles) of highways.
According to 2021 statistics from the Ministry of Water Resources, most of the dams in China have exceeded or are approaching the end of their design life.
China Observer presents more information in the video:
Featured image credit: China Observer (stillshot)