Locals seal dike breach in Hunan Province

2024-07-09 Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

Rocks and raw materials for repair work arrive on barges at the Dongting Lake dike breach site in Tuanzhou township, Hunan province, on Sunday. (Photo by CAO BOYUAN and GUO LILIANG/FOR CHINA DAILY)

Local authorities have sealed up 180.5 meters of the dike breach along the Dongting Lake at a township in Hunan province, with 45.5 meters remaining, they said at a news conference on Monday held at the site of the rescue efforts.

The breach, 220-some meters, occurred at around 5:48 pm on Friday at a dike in the Tuanzhou township of Huarong county in the city of Yueyang.

Zhang Yingchun, executive deputy governor of Hunan province, said more than 100,000 cubic meters of rock have been used in sealing off the breach, and rescuers can seal off 3.5 meters of the breach per hour. The dike is expected to be sealed off by noon on Tuesday.

The water level of the Chenglingji hydrological station, an important gauge of the water level of Dongting Lake has dropped to 32.99 meters, which is lower than the warning level of 33 meters, she said.

The water level of the flooded township is slightly higher than that of the lake and the water is smooth, favorable for the construction of the dike, she said.

Meanwhile, rescuers are working tirelessly to port and strengthen the embankment separating the flooded township with a nearby township. They take three shift and work around the clock, she said.

Zhu Dongtie, head of Hunan's Department of Water Resources, said the embankment has not been used to prevent floods since 1996, and it is built with a much lower standard than the dike.

There have been reports of 24 incidents of leakage and piping at the embankment, which have been handled, he said.

However, as the embankment is soaked in the water longer, the situation is more severe and the pressure of defending it is very high, he said.

Despite all the difficulties and challenges, the embankment must be safeguarded, he added.


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