Rain-soaked E China to fix dike breaches in 6 days, starting Friday

17:48, June 24, 2010      

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Thousands of workers and soldiers would start shoring up two dikes breached in floods in east China's Jiangxi Province Friday, as the nationwide death toll from 10 days of floods rose to 211, said flood control officials Thursday.

The Fuhe River in Fuzhou City breached its bank again early Wednesday, two days after a dike on another section of the river burst, forcing the evacuation of 100,000 people, according to the provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

The breaches were expected to be fixed in six days but the ongoing heavy rains may undermine the efforts.

"Workers are battling to build a road for transporting stones and other materials and we plan to block the breaches in six days," said a spokesman with the headquarters.

The goal was to let the evacuees return their homes on July 2, he said.

But he also noted that continuing rainfall in the area may delay the completion.

Torrential rain had further drenched Fuzhou since Wednesday night and was still pouring down Thursday noon.

The first breach in the dike was about 400 meters wide and the second was slightly smaller, said the headquarters.

The heavy rains and floods have ravaged 10 southern Chinese regions, leaving 211 dead and 119 missing as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, a Ministry of Civil Affairs statement said.

The floods have caused direct economic losses of around 43.3 billion yuan (6.36 billion U.S. dollars), as rivers broke their banks, landslides severed road and rail links and houses collapsed, it said.

China's National Meteorological Center warned Thursday that torrential rains were expected to pound the nation's badly-flooded southern regions, including Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Fujian, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, from Thursday to Friday.

The floods have brought back memories of the severe Yangtze River flooding in southern China in 1998, when 230 million people were affected, 3,656 died and 20.44 million were displaced.

Source: Xinhua


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