Dyke breached again in sodden China
Nearly 100,000 residents evacuated near Fuzhou as river wall breaks for a second time.
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2010 05:09 GMT
The rains have killed at least 199 people and left 123 missing [Reuters]

A dyke in flood-hit Jiangxi province in southern China has suffered a second breach as heavy rains and swelled rivers threatened to inundate the region.

The latest break comes days after the Fu river broke through the Changkai dyke, forcing nearly 100,000 residents to flee their homes.

The official Xinhua news agency said in a brief report the river burst through the embankment again early on Wednesday morning, threatening areas near the small city of Fuzhou.

"Fortunately, residents in the area that may be affected by the flood had been evacuated the previous night," the report said, citing provincial flood control authorities.

More than 15,000 people including troops and police were using sandbags and other materials to try to shore up dykes along the river.

Officials rushed to seal the first breach in the dyke that expanded to 400 metres, swallowing chunks of the 82-km-long barrier protecting a low-lying farming area with about 150,000 residents, Xinhua said earlier.

By late Tuesday, troops and officials had evacuated more than 90,000 people to safer areas, while other residents remained trapped by water and waited for rescue, the China News Service reported.

Deadly rains

Heavy rains across much of southern China over more than a week have killed at least 199 people and left 123 missing, as rivers broke their banks and landslides severed road and rail links, China's civil affairs ministry said.

More than 2.38 million people have had to flee their homes.

The National Meteorological Centre has warned that the current rains could keep pounding parts of the south until Saturday.

The worst hit were the provinces and regions of Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Sichuan, Guizhou and Guangxi.

The floods have caused economic losses estimated at around $6.2bn, with over 1.6 million hectares of farmland flooded and about 195,000 houses collapsing.

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