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Flood diverted in east China to ease threat
( 2003-07-03 08:45) (Xinhua)

Sluice gates at the Wangjiaba section of the Huaihe River, one of China's major rivers, were opened at 1:08 a.m. Thursday to divert floodwater caused by heavy rainfall and endangering thousands of residents in the area.

Floodwater were diverted to Mengwa Flood Diversion Area in Funan as sluice gates at the Wangjiaba section of the Huaihe river were opened July 2, 2003. [newsphoto.com.cn]
It was the first time in 12 years to open the sluice gates at Wangjiaba, located in Funan County of Anhui Province in east China,to divert floodwater of the river, according to the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

A total of 150,000 people live in the Mengwa Flood Diversion Area in Funan and its neighboring county of Yinshang, among whom nearly 15,000 were directly affected by the diversion and had been evacuated by Wednesday afternoon. The floodwater being diverted would submerge up to 12,000 hectares of farmland.

Premier Wen Jiabao issued instruction Wednesday on the flood-control work, stressing that all efforts should be made to ensure the safety of people and reduce property losses to the minimum.

Wen required flood control authorities and local governments togo all out to make the flood diversion proceeding smoothly.

Vice Premier Hui Liangyu, also head of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, presided over an emergency meeting Wednesday evening to discuss the flood control work of the Huaihe River.

Hui urged local authorities in Anhui to make every effort to ensure successful flood diversion, closely follow the flood situation and weather changes, keep monitoring the river's embankments and be prepared for any emergency.

Since June 21, the Huaihe River valley has been hit by continuous rainstorms and even torrential rains, leading to rapid rise of water levels on the upper and middle reaches of the river.

The water level at Wangjiaba reached 29.34 meters at 23:00 Wednesday, surpassing the safety line and posing serious threat toboth the area on the upper reaches and local residents. Enditem

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