Two dams in Hulunbuir in Inner Mongolia collapsed after heavy rain, China's water ministry said on Monday, which expressed concern about the security risks of aging infrastructure in the region.
Both dams collapsed on Sunday afternoon after heavy rainfall that resulted in 87 millimeters of rainfall in the area over the weekend and 223 millimeters at a nearby monitoring station. When one of the dams reached their maximum capacity, water poured over the top, after which the entire infrastructure was washed away in a matter of minutes, resulting in significant damage.
The video, which was shared on the Internet by one of the Chinese, captures the moment when the water broke through the banks of the dam and began to pour out of the reservoir.
Other footage shared on social media shows water pouring out of dams after breaking through their banks, causing destruction, sweeping infrastructure and flooding fields.
Despite the destruction of the dams and subsequent flooding, Chinese officials confirmed that local residents were evacuated downstream and no casualties were reported.
The authorities in the city of Hulunbuir said that the flooding affected about 16,660 people, at least 53,807 acres of agricultural land were under water, and infrastructure in the area was destroyed.
As a result of the flooding, livestock were trapped on the border between China and Mongolia. Police were dispatched to rescue over 1,000 sheep caught in rising flood waters, and it took three hours to rescue the animals in distress.
Earlier this year, China's Deputy Minister of Water Resources Wei Shanzhong said at a briefing that nearly a third of the country's reservoirs had not passed the mandatory safety review due to a lack of financial resources.
Across China, there are more than 98,000 reservoirs used by the country for flood prevention, power generation and shipping management, but more than 80% of them have been in existence for more than 40 years, posing a potential security threat, according to the government in Beijing.