BEIJING - China flooded dozens of evacuated villages on Tuesday to ease
pressure from a swollen river after torrential rains that have killed more than
100 people nationwide.
Flood waters were diverted from
the Huai River in the eastern province of Anhui, after the Mengwa area, with 75
villages, was evacuated, Xinhua news agency said.
Local residents check a bridge which is partially submerged
by the floods in southwest China's Chongqing municipality July 9, 2007.
"The move is expected to bring relief to residents in Henan province, where
the upper reaches of the Huai River run, and alleviate pressure on downstream
sections," it said.
"However, the impact on the residents ... will be limited as most of them
have built their houses on elevated platforms," Xinhua said. "Those who live in
low-lying locations have moved to higher ground."
Eleven people have been killed in floods in Anhui so far and more than
430,000 residents were stranded, with a quarter of them facing drinking water
shortages, Xinhua said.
The Mengwa area, in an impoverished wheat-growing part of north Anhui, has
been submerged by the notorious Huai River flood waters more than 10 times since
it was set up in 1953, state media said.
The 180 sq km (70 sq mile) area suffered 1 billion yuan ($132 million) of
direct economic losses when flood water was diverted from the Huai River in July
2003, Xinhua said.
The rain has caused floods and landslides which have killed at least 101
people in at least six provinces since late June, the People's Daily said. At
least 26 people were missing.
More rain was forecast for the next three days along the Huai River, flowing
through the central province of Henan and the eastern provinces of Anhui and
A total of 545 people were killed by natural disasters in China in the first
half of the year, according to a report released by the Ministry of Civil
Affairs on Monday.
Another 78 people went missing as a result of natural disasters, including
floods, landslides, mudflows, gales, snowstorms and earthquakes.
The typhoon season is under way in the South China Sea and a tropical storm
was gathering strength east of the Philippines on Tuesday, headed for the China
In the central province of Hunan, an estimated 2 billion field mice were
chewing their way through crops in 22 counties around a lake after their homes
on islands were flooded, Xinhua said on Monday.
Local authorities were rushing to build walls and dig ditches to keep the
mice away from flood-control dykes and cropland.