Chinese Army to dismantle four dikes to save town
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 15:55
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

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