Yellow River ice bombed to reduce flood risk

Updated: 2010-03-23 10:37
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HOHHOT - Ice bombing was launched at the upper reaches of the thawing Yellow River to break an ice blockage in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Monday.

Chinese artillerymen fired 40 shots to clear a 200-meter long ice blockage, which had piled up as high as 1.5 meters in a river section near Baotou City.

Yan Xinhuang, an official with the Inner Mongolia Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, said thousands of people had been mobilized to patrol the river embankments, as big ice chunks formed "ice dams" blocking the river flow in some thawing sections.

He said as the temperature rose, a 720-km long frozen stretch of the 830-km Inner Mongolia section of the Yellow River was thawing. So far, the thawing part has reached 270 km, or about 37.5 percent of the river's total length in Inner Mongolia.

He said the river's thawing period this year was about 29 days earlier than that of last year. The temperature fluctuations in March have caused frequent icing and thawing, incurring ice blockages and increasing flood risks.