Half a million people displaced

(China Daily/Agencies)
Updated: 2007-07-12 07:03

Almost half a million people have been evacuated from the projected path of floodwaters from the Huaihe River, which is expected to see its worst flooding since 1954.

About 343,900 of the 488,800 relocated people came from Anhui Province and the rest from the adjacent provinces of Henan and Jiangsu.

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The three provincial authorities have mobilized 511,000 people to patrol the Huaihe's embankments and issue emergency warnings, according to information from the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

Thirteen sluices at Wangjiaba, a key hydrological station on the river after it flows out of Central China's Henan Province and enters Anhui, were opened to divert water to the adjacent Mengwa Buffer Zone, home to 150,000 people.

The pressure on the embankments along both banks of the Huaihe River has been mounting, endangering the safety of key cities and railway lines along the middle and lower reaches of the river.

The Anhui provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters has had to use three minor flood diversion zones downstream from Wangjiaba yesterday morning and had to open 14 sluices at Jiangtanghu to divert water in the afternoon.

Anhui flood control workers have been racing to open the embankment in unpopulated Qiujiahu so that floodwaters could be diverted there.

Meanwhile, the water level at Hongze Lake, located along the lower reaches of the river, continued to rise yesterday despite sluices being opened to discharge water.

Authorities said 23 billion cu m of water upstream, enough to fill six Hongze Lakes, pose a huge flood threat.

Flood control workers at noon on Tuesday opened more sluices on the lake to discharge water into the Yihe River and an irrigation canal running to the sea.


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