Beijing: As floods in China continue to
create havoc, officials in an eastern province have ordered
soldiers to partially dismantle four small dikes to allow
flood waters to swamp farmland instead of spilling out of a
dam and threatening a town with a population of 100,000.
Some 400 hectares of farmland near the larger West Dam
in Huaining County in Anhui Province will be "sacrificed," Liu
Feiyue, head of the Huaining government, was quoted by the
official Xinhua news agency, as saying.
Liu said continuous rain raised the water level at the
West Dam 1.36 meters above the warning line Tuesday afternoon,
close to the dam's bursting point.
Floods are taking heavy toll as so far 107 people were
killed and 57 missing in different provinces.
The dam sits on the 14.4-kilometre-long Nitanggou
River that runs through Shipai Township, the former seat of
the Huaining County government.
"Shipai Township is densely populated. If the dike
bursts, the consequences would be disastrous," said Liu.
"There are about 100,000 residents and 20,010 hectares
of farmland in Shipai."
Authorities said about 1,000 people who reside near
the river have been relocated.
Anhui is among the regions along the Yangtze River
worst-hit by the storms that began to lash central and
southern China July 8.
The continuous downpours in the province have resulted
in the deaths of at least two people and disrupted the lives
of more than four million.
The rains have caused the collapse of more than 5,100
houses and damaged 17,700 others.
They have also caused economic losses of more than 1.8 billion yuan (USD 265.5 million), according to the provincial disaster relief office.
First Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 15:55