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Floods force China to evacuate more people

English.news.cn   2013-08-19 20:37:39            

BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- More people have been evacuated and personnel mobilized to combat rare floods which swept across northeast and south China after over 200 people were reported dead or missing.

Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province has been on high alert as swelling rivers forced more evacuations.

Authorities in Tongjiang City, which is along the swollen Heilongjiang River, have started a Grade I response preparing for floods. More than 30,000 residents are displaced and 20,000 people have joined the flood control efforts.

The Heilongjiang Provincial Hydrological Bureau forecast the stretch between Tongjiang and Fuyuan County will witness the largest flooding in its history. Rain is predicted in the next few days in Tongjiang.

Water may exceed the warning level by 2.1 meters when a flood peak comes at the end of this month to the Fuyuan section in the downstream of the Heilongjiang River, the provincial flood control headquarters predicted.

With a population of more than 100,000, Fuyuan is located in the intersection area between the Heilongjiang and Wusuli rivers. On Monday, the water level of the Fuyuan section of the Wusuli River rose to 100.32 meters, two cm above the warning level.

The water level of Heilongjiang River's Fuyuan section surpassed warning levels by 116 cm on Saturday. Many residents, who witnessed large flooding in 1984 and 1998, said they had never seen such big floods.

"The evacuation of the whole township was urgent and I did not take anything with me from my house," said Fu Baodong, a displaced resident in Wusu Township in Fuyuan.

Fu Yancheng, head of the Fuyuan county government said the county had sped up evacuation efforts with 13,000 people already displaced.

The fourth flood peak of the Heilongjiang River reached Xunke County on Monday while counties or cities in downstream Xunke will continue to see rising water levels.

In the Chaoyang section in Jiameng County, the water level of the Heilongjiang River rose 25 cm on Monday to hit 100.34 meters, close to the record high of 100.49 meters. The flood peak will arrive in Jiameng around Wednesday.

More than 16,000 people have been evacuated in Jiameng.

"All villagers have been evacuated. Only a few government employees and border policemen are left," said Liang Xinzhai, a policemen in Changsheng Township in Jiameng.

Rescuers have given up efforts to heighten a 30-km dam, which is in danger of collapse any time in Changsheng.

The floods have also hit Jilin and Liaoning provinces in northeast China and south China's Guangdong Province.

A total of 105 people have been killed and another 115 left missing in floods ravaging northeast China and a typhoon that lashed southern regions, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Monday.

In the worst-hit Fushun City, in Liaoning Province, 54 people had died and 97 were missing by Monday afternoon.

Li Chunrong, who runs a small restaurant at Beikouqian Village, Nankouqian Township, was offering free porridge to his fellow villagers at a temporary settlement.

"Some 400 kg of rice is being consumed every day and 2,000 people are eating the porridge," said Li.

Seventy tents have been set up in Beikouqian Village. There are three settlements in the town. Each of them has eight medical workers looking after the villagers.

In south China's Guangdong Province, 18 people have died and five others were missing after downpours began to hit the region since Friday.

About 500,000 people in Guangdong had been evacuated and more than 4.17 million people were affected in 583 towns by Monday afternoon, according to the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

The maximum rainfall was recorded in Gaotan Township, Huidong County with 906 mm precipitation within 24 hours, a case rarely seen in a millennium.

In coastal Shantou City, 25 villages at Chendian Township and 15 villages at Simapu Township of Chaonan District are still flooded.

It was impossible to drain off water as the power supply in Chendian Township was cut off.

Wang Yuanguo said the water was more than two meters high at Gangxi Village, Simapu Township when he contacted his father by phone for the last time on Monday morning.

"Fifty hours after the downpour, there is no water and power supply," said Wang, who currently lives in the provincial capital of Guangzhou. "The food is finished and the situation is worrisome."

A section of the Lianjiang River dam has burst, which raised the water level in the village. Villagers are forced to live in buildings above two stories, according to Wang.

The Chaonan district government is allocating more than 30,000 kg of bread and 2,200 cases of bottled water to the affected villagers, said Zheng Jianwei, a district government official.

The rainfall is weakening in Guangdong, which is good news for the flood relief efforts, according to the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

In neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, 12 people were killed by typhoon-triggered floods as of 6 p.m. on Monday, according to the regional civil affairs department.

More than 110,000 people have been evacuated and over 1.15 million people were affected by the floods in 47 counties and districts, according to the department.

Some 2,986 rural houses have collapsed and 38,050 hectares of farmland were affected in the floods. The economic losses are estimated to be 447 million yuan (72.46 million U.S. dollars), according to the department.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs allocated 2,600 tents, 5,000 folding beds and 5,000 quilts to Guangxi on Monday afternoon to aid the relief efforts.

Editor: yan
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