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Relief Team Sticks to Position at Flood-isolated Embankment in NW China

A relief team has been stranded at a section of a flood-isolated embankment of the Weihe River in Huaxian county of northwest China's Shaanxi province, local officials said Thursday.


Floodwater submerged all the roads to the embankment section due to a serious breach in the river's embankment on Tuesday night.


Wang Jian, secretary of the county committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), said that more than 2,300 soldiers and local residents were still were stationed at the embankment to prevent a further enlargement of the breach.


The working conditions at the embankment are so tough that many soldiers are standing waist-deep in water, Wang said.


In addition, the county now is in dire need of relief materials, especially vehicles, as only 11 vessels and two amphicars are at hand to send relief materials to the embankment, said Wang, adding that if the materials were not able to reach the embankment in time, the relief team would face greater risks.


Pan Yong'an, deputy director of the county's flood control office, said that so far, the flood has victimized more than 120,000 people in eight townships and the direct economic loss has been set around 320 million yuan (38.55 million US dollars).


Wang Jian said that more than 30,000 residents living in the flooded areas have been evacuated to the Huaxian county seat and the government has taken measures to settle them properly.


The flood crest on the Weihe River passed through Weinan city on Wednesday morning and converged into the Yellow River. However, the situation remains severe because of the excessive rainfall of previous days.


(Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2003)

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