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Emergency aid flooding into disaster areas
( 2003-07-14 07:12) (China Daily)

Disaster relief funds, goods and services are flowing into eastern and central China, where more than a million people have been displaced by flooding.

PLA soldiers transfer children to a safe place in northen Anhui province. [newsphoto.com.cn]
The Red Cross Society of China has allocated 800,000 yuan (US$96,000) and provided tents, food, medicine, detergents and other goods to the six worst affected provinces, including Anhui and Jiangsu provinces.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs also started to use disaster-relief money raised via the national welfare lottery yesterday to buy emergency aid.

More than 1 million people in East China's Anhui Province have been relocated due to the floods, figures from local disaster relief departments revealed Sunday.

Of the total, about 985,000 were evacuated from the Huaihe River Valley, according to the Anhui Production and Disaster Relief Office.

The province has supplied 15,000 tents and set aside 65.2 million yuan (US$7.86 million) to provide temporary homes and daily necessities for flood victims.

To prevent the spread of contagious diseases, 9,400 medical workers have been posted in the province along the Huaihe River and some 259,000 people have received medical treatment.

Water levels have reached record highs at several points between the Zhengyangguan and Lutaizi sections of the Huaihe River in Anhui.

Figures released yesterday by the State Flood Control and Drought Prevention Headquarters revealed the water level at Zhengyangguan Hydrologic Station reached 26.8 metres at 7 pm on Saturday, 25 centimetres higher than the previous record.

As the flood crests of the Huaihe River surge towards its lower reaches, floods along the middle reaches are receding.

However, Cheng Dianlong, vice-director of the headquarters, said flood control workers along the middle reaches of the Huaihe River should remain vigilant, because, after weeks of flooding, the river embankments might become unstable as the water recedes.

The Chinese Central Meteorological Station reported yesterday that heavy rain will fall south of the Huaihe River and along the middle reaches of the Yangtze River in the coming days.

Rain belts will affect the Huaihe, Yellow and Hanshui river valleys, and the eastern part of the Sichuan Basin.

Some parts of Shandong, Shaanxi and Sichuan provinces can expect downpours and rainstorms.

Premier Wen Jiabao talks with local residents during an inspection tour in northen Anhui Province. [Xinhua]    

  

Premier Wen Jiabao flew to the Huaihe River area on Saturday to inspect and direct flood control work along the river, which has been ravaged by the worst flooding since 1991.

Wen urged authorities to give top priority to safeguarding the lives and interests of people in disaster-hit areas and controlling the flood through strong leadership and science.

Hongze Lake, on the lower reaches of the Huaihe River, recorded a balanced inflow and outflow on Saturday afternoon after four floodwater diversion channels were opened.

Since late June, the Huaihe valley has experienced heavy rainfall, sending floodwaters down the main channel and tributaries of the upper and middle reaches of the river.

   
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