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July 9, 2024

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China seals dike breach at its second-largest freshwater lake

Rescue personnel successfully sealed a 226-meter breach in a dike at China’s second-largest freshwater lake at 10:31pm yesterday, according to local authorities.

Floodwaters from torrential rain caused the breach at Dongting Lake in the city of Yueyang, central China’s Hunan Province, with at least 7,000 residents having been evacuated since the dike burst on Friday afternoon.

According to the Yueyang flood control and drought relief headquarters, the sealing will expedite drainage and post-disaster reconstruction and alleviate pressure on the second line of defense, a 14.3-km embankment located approximately two kilometers behind the dike.

The embankment seen as the second line of defense was under threat yesterday, local authorities said.

More than 300 police officers and firefighters are working to stem the piping effect that is eroding the embankment in Huarong County, according to the province’s water resources department.

The 14.3-kilometer embankment is around 2km behind the dike that burst on Friday at Dongting Lake, China’s second-largest freshwater lake, following a heavy rainstorm.

The piping effect can hollow out a dike and lead to a burst if not handled properly.

At least 7,000 residents have been evacuated following the dike burst on Friday.

“Although the water level of Dongting Lake is dropping, we are currently in the main flood season,” said Zhang Biao with the Hunan Port Shipping and Water Resources Group Co.

He pointed out that should a second flood occur, a larger area will be affected.

An unnamed rescue personnel told Xinhua that challenges such as a tight supply of specialized materials, narrow dike roads on either side of the breach, and the scorching summer heat have all affected the efficiency of the operation.

Zhang Xuanzhuang with the China Anneng Group First Engineering Bureau Co. noted that hectic work will continue even after the dike is sealed. “We are under tremendous pressure reinforcing the dike to ensure long-term stability and draining the water of the flooded fields,” he said.

Besides, rescuers will help residents quickly resume normal production and daily activities.




 

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