BEIJING (AP) — Torrents of water bursting from a dam in central China swept away several people as the Lunar New Year holiday began, and authorities said several were still missing Monday.
Two people died and 10 were rescued, including two who were still in hospital. The search operation was still underway.
The water rose rapidly before overflowing the Sanmenxia Dam in Henan province and swept away people who had gathered below to take photos, according to a statement from the Sanmenxia Municipal Office of Emergency Response.
The incident was being investigated, according to the office, which recommended that visitors “pay attention to personal safety during the festive period.”
The water behind the dam was estimated to have risen nearly 2 meters (6 feet) in 10 minutes before it began to overflow, according to reports.
The dam on China’s Great Yellow River was completed in 1960 and has had problems with silt buildup. That has led to flooding upstream, which in turn led to complaints about the design and management of the structure.
There are expected to be more than 2 billion movements in China during the 40-day period around the New Year holiday last Sunday, after the lifting of strict “zero COVID” measures that prevented or discouraged people from doing travel for most of the last three years.
Last week, an avalanche engulfed vehicles outside a highway tunnel in Tibet, killing at least 28 people. Many of those trapped were heading home for the holidays.