Shipping services suspended on China's swollen border river

21:45, August 05, 2010      

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Northeast China's Liaoning Province Thursday suspended shipping services and tourism on the Yalu River, which marks the border with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), as more rain was forecast to hit the already swollen waterway.

The last two weeks had seen more rain on the river system than at any comparable time in recorded history and more rain was forecast for Thursday and Friday, said a spokesman with the flood control headquarters in the border city of Dandong on the river's lower reaches.

Water levels had risen almost half a meter over one night, said a soldier at a border defense station on Thursday.

City authorities also banned fishing on the swollen river.

Shipping services in neighboring Jilin Province on the upper reaches were already suspended, said an official with the headquarters, but he did not say when the services were stopped.

More than 40,000 residents had been evacuated from the homes in Dandong by Thursday and authorities had blocked all the gates on dike walls that separate the riverside from the downtown area, said the headquarters.

Some of the evacuated residents were moved to schools on higher ground and others stayed in relatives' homes.

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