The dyke holding back the Yellow River is breached.
It has taken five days of drilling and picking, but the floods that will drive Japanese forces away from the North have finally begun. This is risky and will only slow down the enemy, not stop them, but there has been crushing pressure to make a move, and this will have to be it. Understanding the cost of their drastic decision and the suffering it will soon cause, the government informs its people that the Japanese have broken the dam instead.
Hundreds of thousands drown as the waters reach them. Those who can run, must. Those who have time to pack carts, do. A few extra minutes of preparation will translate into higher chances of survival down the road, and much must be left behind. This includes relatives and friends unable to withstand what will likely be a long journey. Sudden goodbyes are given to grandparents and those who became sick or injured at an unlucky time.
Families scatter, and everything is uncertain.