A dike on a section of China's flooded Heilong River in northeast China burst due to water pressure early on Thursday, forcing authorities to evacuate over 7,000 people.
The incident occurred in the early hours in Chaibaotun, Luobei County in Heilongjiang Province, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. More than 7,000 residents living near the site were evacuated and over 70 rescue workers were also evacuated after the 20-metre-wide breach, which has so far caused no casualties, it said.
The local government plans to relocate over 73,000 more people as the main stream of the river is expected to continue to rise, posing risk to over 140 villages, said the provincial flood prevention headquarters. As of Tuesday, many major sections on the river's main course have seen the highest recorded water levels.
Water level at the Qindeli section exceeded the historical maximum by 0.95 metres. Prior to the incident, the river's water level at Chaibaotun was 19 cm higher than the previous record level at that section. The Heilong River, known as the Amur in Russia, runs along the Sino-Russian border. It has swelled over the past week, with some sections seeing the worst floods in history.
Some 1,340 locations on 29 stretches of embankment along the river have reported problems, the report said. Flooding has also occurred in other major rivers in Heilongjiang, including the Songhua and Nenjiang. As of Wednesday, over 5.43 million people in 885 townships had been affected by the worst flood in the province in more than a decade.
The flood also toppled over 8,500 homes in Heilongjiang. More than 70,000 people have been mobilised to monitor and protect embankments in Heilongjiang. The flooding has displaced over 233,000 people in the province.