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Artillery used to clear Yellow River blockages

ARTILLERYMEN fired 105 rounds of ammunition to clear ice blockages along a section of the Yellow River in Urad Front Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, yesterday.

Over two hours, the blockages, which extended 4 kilometers at Hujiatuodan, were fragmented. The icy water then moved forward, said Yan Xingguang, an expert with the Inner Mongolia Yellow River Ice Blockage Prevention Headquarters.

Three air force bombers were used on Wednesday to clear blockages along another section of the Yellow River in Dalad Banner, about 20km downstream from Hujiatuodan.

In Wednesday's mission, the bombers dropped some 9,000 kilograms of dynamite in three sorties and removed the blockage at the southern banks of the river at Putuobu in Engebei Township, Dalad, said Chen Xin, spokesman for the headquarters.

Sections of the Yellow River, the second longest in China, freeze and thaw at different times. When an ice run flows to a frozen section, it can become blocked. If the blockage persists, water levels may rise and cause floods and dam bursts. The ice-run phenomenon takes place at the start of winter and spring.

Chen said on Wednesday that the section of the Yellow River that flows through Inner Mongolia thawed earlier this year than previous years, but the partly melted ice gathered to form blockages. The volume of floodwater in the region reached 1.7 billion cubic meters, surpassing that of last year.

The 5,464km river originates in northwest China's Qinghai Province and flows through Gansu, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan and Shandong before emptying into the Bohai Sea.


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