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Nature's havoc: Relief work underway in China's flood-hit provinces

China: Local authorities in China's provinces hit by severe floods have been taking measures to conduct relief work as the water levels of various rivers in southern China keep rising due to continuous torrential rains.

The Huaihe River Commission under China's Ministry of Water Resources on Saturday raised the flood-control response from Level IV to Level III, as the river saw its first flood this year. Following torrential rains in recent days, the water level at the Wangjiaba hydrological station in Funan County, east China's Anhui Province, reached the alert level of 27.5 meters at 22:48 Friday, marking the first flood of the Huaihe River this year.
According to the commission, the water level of the key hydrological station on the main course of the Huaihe River keeps rising for the moment, and may reach 29 meters in the coming two days if it continues to pour in the upstream of the river.

"We will reduce the peak flow at the upstream reservoirs, continue to increase the downstream drainage to Hongze Lake, and make all-round preparations for the use of flood storage and detention basins in the middle reach," said Wang Bin, deputy director of the Huaihe Water Conservancy Commission under the Ministry of Water Resources.

Anhui raised its emergency response for disaster relief to the highest level on Saturday afternoon, as the water in the main course of the Yangtze River exceeded the warning level by almost two meters in some places and a total of 35 rivers and lakes in the province saw the water exceed warning level, according to the provincial water resources department.

The water level in Taihu Lake, one of the country's largest freshwater lakes, was still above the guaranteed water level on Saturday since it rose to 4.65 meters Friday morning. To cope with the situation, the major water conservancy projects in the basin discharged the floods at full capacity.

The water resources department of east China's Jiangsu Province also raised its flood alert level to the highest of red for the Nanjing section of the Yangtze River at 09:00 Saturday after a record-high water level was seen in the section. The water level at the Nanjing hydrological station in the provincial capital city rose to 10.26 meters at 07:50 Saturday, exceeding the previous record high of 10.22 meters in 1954.

Local public security department set up patrol teams to inspect the embankments along the Yangtze River round the clock. In east China's Jiangxi Province, a dike with a 188-meter breach caused by floods was successfully sealed on Saturday. The Zhongzhou dike, situated around China's largest freshwater lake, Poyang Lake, in Changzhou Township of Poyang County, extends 33.72 km. It protects 34,000 local residents and more than 1,400 hectares of farmland along the waterway. Heavy rains continued to batter central China's Hubei Province on Saturday.

In Yangxin County of Huangshi City, a 50-meter-long breach on a dike caused by floods triggered by days of torrential rains was successfully closed as of Saturday afternoon, thanks to the incessant repair work involving hundreds of armed police officers together with helicopters and 27 heavy-duty vehicles. In the Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, one of the worst-hit areas in the province, rescuers evacuated tens of thousands from their inundated houses to safety. Floodwater also submerged some shops along street with emergency rescue operation in progress.

"We are clearing silt to facilitate residents and help businessmen sort out products. For the next step , we will conduct disinfection work to well integrate epidemic response with flood control and disaster relief," said Mou Jun, a disaster relief worker from the Shengli Street. The local government has dispatched more than 12,000 for relief work, and over 39,000 residents have been evacuated to safety.

In southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, rescuers evacuated residents and carried out relief work after continuous downpour triggered landslides. In Xinglong Township of Youyang County in Chongqing, the incessant heavy rain caused a landslide Friday morning. With debris blocking the river way, flood water damaged river embankments and houses in a nearby village. The rescuers managed to evacuate 20 villagers before the water level rose higher.

The rain-triggered landslides also caused damages to roads in Hongchiba Township of Wuxi County. Local authorities raced against time to repair the roads and as of Friday afternoon, traffic was basically restored on major roads, with power supply and communication services in the township restored.

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