Typhoon leads to blockage in China rivers

Tonnes of debris left behind by a typhoon are now blocking rivers in China.

Beijing: Tonnes of debris - including dead animals, trash and logs - left behind by Typhoon Fanapi are now blocking rivers in a province in China, leading to concerns about the safety of drinking water.

About 1,000 soldiers have been pressed into service and are racing against the clock to clear the debris from rivers in Maoming city in Guangdong province, which was struck by Fanapi recently, the Global Times reported.

The rivers flow into a reservoir in Gaozhou city, and are key drinking water sources for over seven million Maoming residents.

Meanwhile, the maximum temperature in Gaozhou climbed to 30 degree Celsius, quickening the decay of the animal corpses, authorities said.

Zhao Liang, a soldier, said they saw a four-km-long and 300-metre-wide floating strip of trash, logs and dead animals on the upper reaches of the Gaozhou reservoir.

"We hope we can finish clearing the floating garbage soon. We are working two shifts - day and night - so as to meet the deadline," said an officer surnamed Xu.

The reservoir, 25 km from Gaozhou, is the third largest reservoir in Guangdong. Built in 1959, the reservoir has a catchment area of 1,002 square km.

Typhoon Fanapi landed in Fujian province on September 20, but wreaked most havoc in Guangdong, which neighbours Fujian on the south. It has left 75 people dead while 61 people are still missing in Guangdong.