Two dams in China’s northwestern region of Inner Mongolia collapsed after torrential rain, the water ministry said on Monday, highlighting the safety risks posed by ageing infrastructure during the summer flood season.
The dams, in the Inner Mongolian city of Hulunbuir, collapsed on Sunday afternoon. They had formed reservoirs with a combined water storage capacity of 46 million cubic metres (1.6 trillion cubic feet), the Ministry of Water Resources said.
People living downstream were evacuated, with no casualties reported, it said.
The ministry said that on average, 87 millimetres (3.4 inches) of rain fell in Hulunbuir over the weekend and as much as 223 millimetres at the Morin Dawa monitoring station.
Hulunbuir’s city government said on its WeChat account that 16,660 people had been affected, with 21,775 hectares (53,807 acres) of farmland submerged. Bridges and other transport infrastructure had also been destroyed.