E China dyke to be repaired no later than Monday: flood control officials

16:55, June 27, 2010      

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The dyke, which was breached after days of torrential rains in east China Jiangxi Province, is likely to be repaired no later than Monday as rapid progress has been made since Friday, said local flood control officials Sunday.

The river which runs through Fuzhou City, Jiangxi, breached its banks for a second time early Wednesday, two days after a dyke on another section of the river burst, forcing the evacuation of 1,320,000 people, according to the provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

Almost all of the people had been successfully evacuated as of 6 p.m. Friday and no casualties were reported, said Wu Fusheng, the city's deputy Party chief.

The 347 meters wide breach, smaller than the previously estimated 400 meters, had been narrowed by 282 meters by 10 a.m. Sunday.

"With only 65 meters to go, I am confident that we can completely block it tonight or tomorrow morning," said Xiong.

Workers began to narrow the breach from both directions on Saturday, greatly accelerating the work that began on Friday.

The second breach, 130 meters wide, was being used to channel out water and would not immediately be fixed according to the local government.

The provincial finance department and water resources department have earmarked a total of 23 million yuan (3.4 million U.S. dollars) for fixing the dyke, said Xiong.

More than 400 people, helped by an assortment of equipment, were battling to shore up the dyke.

Persistent heavy rains that have devastated parts of south China had by Saturday left 379 dead, and 141 missing, and resulted in direct economic losses of 82.4 billion yuan, State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said on Saturday.

Heavy rains and ensuing floods have affected 68.7 million people in 22 provincial-level regions and 4.36 million hectares of farmland, said the headquarters.

Source: Xinhua


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