Spectators run from huge tidal bore hitting the east coast of China

The annual tidal bore is due to peak on Wednesday

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The Independent Online

Hundreds were swept off their feet in the Chinese province of Zhejiang after a huge tidal bore crashed over riverside barriers and flooded the bank.

The tidal bore, a phenomenon that occurs when the leading water of an incoming tide forms a huge wave, happens annually in the Qiantang river. The shape of the river mouth, and the bay beyond it makes the bore the most powerful in the world, giving it the local nickname 'Silver Dragon'.

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The province is home to an annual tide-watching festival, where thrill-seekers crowd the banks of the river, waiting to run from the crashing waves at the last minute.

The huge walls of murky water look terrifying, but the crowds appeared to be enjoying themselves - pictures from the area showed people wearing huge smiles on their faces as they tried to avoid getting wet.

Luckily for them, the bores are likely to get even larger - according to local water stations, the waves look likely to peak in intensity on Wednesday.

There were no injuries during this tidal bore, making a change from previous years - in 2013, around 30 people were hurt when they were swept away by a particularly large bore, the result of a typhoon that gave the wave an extra boost.

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