December 5, 2000
Changsha: Continuous heavy rain over the past few days have caused a section of the Yangtze River to burst its banks in Yueyang, a city in central China’s Hunan Province, a local water resources official confirmed on Thursday. Currently, the longest crack is 600 meters and is only 60 meters from the main dyke of the Yangtze, the longest waterway in China, said the official with the Hunan Provincial Water Resources Bureau. The current flood is the most serious in recent years, said Liu Guhua, head of the Yueyang city flood control headquarters. If the crack continues, it would pose a threat to the safety of the Yangtze’s main dyke and the lives and properties of local people, Liu said. The Hunan section of the Yangtze River stretches for 163 km from Wumakou of Huarong county to Tieshanzui of Linxiang city. A 142-km-long dyke is built along the Hunan section of the Yangtze. Cracks of the river bank have been frequently reported in this section but have been brought more under control since 1998 thanks to government’s efforts. Strong scouring of the Yangtze, expansion of the river course and changes in velocity are to blame for the bursting of the riverbank, said Wu Wensheng, head of the Yueyang City Yangtze River Restoration Project Department. The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters have sent experts to the accident site to deal with the emergency. The flood control headquarters of Yueyang city are keeping a close eye on the development of the situation.