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4 killed, 7 missing in tidal current in China's Zhejiang
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17:43, August 03, 2007

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 More than 30 swept away in Qiantang River
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At least four people were killed and seven others remained missing as of Friday after a rising wave swept away 33 people in east China's Zhejiang Province on Thursday.

Rescuers have retrieved the bodies of two women and two men Friday after continous searching efforts, according to the public security bureau of Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang.

The missing included a nine-year-old child and the identities of the victims and the missing are still being verified, Qi Yong, an officer with the maritime team under the bureau, told Xinhua.

The missing also included a 10-year-old girl, her father, a 21-year-old university student and a pair of sisters, according toa report on Zhejiang's official news portal (www.zjol.com.cn).

Twenty-two people were rescued after the tidal bore swept away 33 people who were either swimming in the river or walking along a T-shaped levee at the inner part of the Qiantang River mouth on the outskirts of Hangzhou.

The tides on the Qiantang are a peculiar phenomenon, which is always an attraction to tourists. Scientists say that the trumpet-shaped mouth of the Qiantang River helps form the tidal change, which can be as high as 3.5 meters.

Experts attribute the formation of powerful tidal currents in recent years to the accumulation of silt rushed down by the Yangtze River, the change of water course, the strong wind that always accompanies the tide, and the upriver floods.

The worst tidal accident occurred on Oct. 3, 1993, when the tidewater swept away 86 people from the levee, leaving 19 dead, 40missing and 27 injured.

The local government has hired a group of local people to patrol along the river and warn people of the danger of upcoming tides.

Ren Baojin, an old man who has worked for about 10 years as a "tide shouter", said he and his workmates shouted out when the tide is about to come, but many people, especially those from other regions, turned a deaf ear to the warnings.

Source: Xinhua



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