Workers race against thawing ice on Yellow River

Updated: 2010-03-16 09:58
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HOHHOT - More than 100 workers are strengthening a section of embankment on the Yellow River in Inner Mongolia autonomous region as thawing ice raises the flood risk.

Water leakage and cracks were found on a 700-meter-long embankment on the upper reaches of the river, about 250 kilometers from Hohhot, the autonomous regional capital, said Gao Jinju, an officer in charge of flood control.

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Workers with 30 bulldozers are building a small dyke to reinforce the major structure to prevent a landslide or collapse and the project is expected to be completed in five days, he said.

The warm weather had accelerated the thawing of ice in the river and the earthen embankment was prone to water leakage, he explained.

The Yellow River, China's second longest, freezes and thaws at different times, posing flood threats at sections mainly in Inner Mongolia and east China's Shandong province.

Four major bank breaches caused by the river's ice runs have occurred in Inner Mongolia since the founding of New China in 1949.

In March 2008, icy water flooded 11 villages and a township in Hangjin banner, causing the evacuation of around 13,000 people. About 20,000 homes were destroyed and more than 33,000 livestock died.