November 28, 2000
Officials were busy reinforcing embankments in a section of the Yangtze River China’s longest yesterday after collapses in three major areas. The Xiaoxiang Morning Post reported yesterday that the collapses one as long as 600 metres in the Yueyang section of the river in Central China’s Hunan Province were causing great concern as the flood season officially began yesterday. Experts say collapses of river banks are a common problem during the period. According to Yueyang Municipal Yangtze River Repairing and Prevention Division, the collapses were most serious in an area in the city’s Huarong County, while two other sections in Junshan District were also affected. Situated in northeastern Hunan, Yueyang has jurisdiction over four counties, two county-level cities and four districts. Wu Wensheng, director of the division’s project department, said several factors, including the increased discharge capacity of Yangtze waters and a drop in the anti-flooding capacity of dykes, contributed to the collapses. He added they moved swiftly to carry out repairs because of the flood season, and added several diversion ditches were dug to divert water. Large amounts of stones will also be deposited into the water to reinforce the embankment walls, he said. In the Tianzi No 1, which is located in Huarong County in northwestern Yueyang, the embankment collapses were the most serious and some were only 60 metres away from Yangtze’s main embankment, the newspaper quoted Chen Nianping, director of the county’s Embankment Protection Centre, as saying. The longest collapse runs as long as 600 metres, the director said, adding he believed the rising water level in the Yangtze resulting from an increase in rainfall since February also contributed to the collapse. Meanwhile, some of the collapses in Hongshui Harbour and Zhangjiadun Stone Block in Junshan District in northern Yueyang were only 70 metres to 80 metres away from the river’s mainstream embankment, the municipal Yangtze River Repairing and Prevention Division said.