BEIJING - Hundreds of sections of embankments along China's third-longest
river have become loose, threatening the homes of millions of people after three
weeks of deadly floods across the country, Chinese media said on Tuesday.
Torrential rain has wrought
havoc across large parts of China this summer, most recently in the southwest
and the east, killing more than 500 people and causing billions of dollars in
An elderly woman feeds her ducks on a boat, which is her
temporary home after the village was flooded, in Fengyang County, east
China's Anhui province July 21, 2007.
More rain is forecast.
The swollen Huai River has displaced about half a million residents since the
start of this month in the central province of Henan and the eastern provinces
of Anhui and Jiangsu, many of whom are still unable to return home.
Tens of thousands of troops were on guard to battle any breaches along the
Anhui section of the Huai River, which has reported 546 places of "danger,"
including 46 serious ones, Xinhua news agency said.
Dozens of villages were deliberately inundated in Anhui to ease pressure at
the height of the flood, which Xinhua said was "moderating." That could change
with more rain forecast on Tuesday in the upper reaches of the Huai.
"People's physical and financial strength is wearing out. They tend to be
less alert," Ji Bing, a top flood control official in Anhui, was quoted as
In southwestern Chongqing, residents were coping with the aftermath of the
worst rainstorm in more than a century. At least 42 died in floods, landslides
and other disasters.
Tens of thousands of rural residents whose houses were destroyed were living
in schools and tents and depended on rations, Xinhua said, adding downpours were
expected to batter Chongqing and neighboring Sichuan province again on Tuesday.
Chongqing and Sichuan were suffering their worst drought in over 100 years
this time last year, leading some to blame the massive Three Gorges Dam for its
uncertain meteorological and ecological implications.
But Xinhua on Monday quoted government experts as saying that there was no
evidence to link either the drought or the flood to the dam on the Yangtze
River, China's longest.
Heavy rain also hit the southwestern province of Yunnan last week, killing
around 60 people. At least 29 workers building a hydro power plant died when
mountain mudslides buried their shelters during sleeping hours early on
In the northern province of Shanxi, 11 coal miners remained trapped after
flash floods triggered by heavy rain submerged their pit on Sunday as rescuers
were hampered by rocks and mud, Xinhua said.
Separately, days of scorching heat would continue in five provinces in
China's south and southeast on Tuesday, the National Meteorological Centre
forecast on its Web site (www.nmc.gov.cn).
Temperatures in the provinces of Zhejiang, Fujiang, Jiangxi, Guangdong and
Hunan could reach 39 degrees Celsius (102 Fahrenheit), while that of Turpan in
the far-west Xinjiang region could hit 43 degrees Celsius (109 F), the centre