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China floods 75 villages to ease swollen river

Photo: Local residents check a bridge which is partially submerged by the floods in southwest China's Chongqing municipality July 9, 2007. China was evacuating 150,000 people on Tuesday from villages in eastern China that may have to be deliberately flooded to combat torrential rains which have led to the deaths of more than 100 people nationwide.

July 10, 2007
CHINA flooded dozens of evacuated villages on Tuesday to ease pressure from a swollen river after torrential rains that have killed more than 100 people nationwide. Flood waters were diverted from the Huai River in the eastern province of Anhui, after the Mengwa area, with 75 villages, was evacuated. "The move is expected to bring relief to residents in Henan province, where the upper reaches of the Huai River run, and alleviate pressure on downstream sections. However, the impact on the residents ... will be limited as most of them have built their houses on elevated platforms. Those who live in low-lying locations have moved to higher ground." Eleven people have been killed in floods in Anhui so far and more than 430,000 residents were stranded, with a quarter of them facing drinking water shortages. The Mengwa area, in an impoverished wheat-growing part of north Anhui, has been submerged by the notorious Huai River flood waters more than 10 times since it was set up in 1953. The rain has caused floods and landslides which have killed at least 101 people in at least six provinces since late June. At least 26 people were missing. More rain was forecast for the next three days along the Huai River, flowing through the central province of Henan and the eastern provinces of Anhui and Jiangsu.
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