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Asia

Fresh breach in dyke leads to heavy flooding in China

According to China's official Xinhua news agency, flooding in Jiangxi province has intensified after a dyke on the Fu river suffered a fresh breach on Wednesday.

A young man carries an elder person on his shoulder to wade through the waterlogged street, in Nanchang

A young man carries an elder person on his shoulder to wade through the waterlogged streets of Nanchang

The Ministry of Civil Affairs has said that the floods have killed at least 199 people and left 123 missing. Several landslides have occurred and road and rail links have been disrupted.

More than 2.38 million people have been evacuated from the region into safer areas. The government has allocated 37.2 million dollars for rescue and relief efforts. Meteorologists have predicted more periods of heavy rain. The weather center has said that rain is likely to continue in some areas for the next three days.

Efforts to stop water flow

Official news reports said that more than 15,000 people are working to plug the holes in Changkai dyke using sandbags and other material. The first breach in the dyke occurred on Monday and the force of the water widened the breach to some 400 meters. The Xinhua news agency said that troops and officials helped bring 100,000 residents in the area to safer locations.

A Chinese woman mourns her family member killed by the flash floods in Nanping, east China's Fujian Province

A Chinese woman mourns her family member killed by the flash floods in Nanping, east China's Fujian Province

President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao have called for 'all out' efforts to combat the flood and save lives. However, the official Beijing Daily newspaper quoted an unnamed government official as saying that flood prevention standards in medium and small rivers are not very high. As soon as a major flood occurs, there is a considerable threat to life, he said.

According to national flood control headquarters, 34 rivers in Jiangxi alone have surpassed their high-water marks. Three of these rivers have triggered the most serious flooding in the past 50 years. The regions of Fujian and Guangdong province have experienced more than 100 cms of rainfall in the past week. Ironically, some of these areas experienced drought earlier this year.

mg/AFP/Reuters/AP

Editor: Grahame Lucas

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