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Yangtze River Banks Continue to Collapse in Hunan
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The banks of the Yangtze River, China's longest waterway, continue to collapse inside Hunan Province, and the operation to stabilize them has been slow due to bad weather and a desperate lack of funds.

The collapse is occurring in seven places, with the most serious being Tianzi Yihao or the No.1 heavenly code, where the eroded stretch extends for 600 meters, just 60 meters away from the main protective embankment, said an official from the Hunan Provincial Bureau of Water Resources.

Workers have been taking turns to work around the clock, positioning boulders along the falling banks of the river since April 1, but the stormy weather has made the rescue efforts seem futile, said Chen Nianping, who is in charge of the headquarters for the protection of Yangtze River embankments inside Huarong County, where the No.1 heavenly code section is situated.

"Our 11 ships used for moving the big stones had to be moored, and soil kept falling into the river as the raging waters pounding against the banks," Chen recalled.

Water control specialists warn that if the reparation work is not finished before the rainy season which often begins late April and ends in early May, it would be very difficult for the main embankments of the Yangtze River to survive this summer's flood season safely.

The Yangtze River stretches for 163 km in Hunan, which starts from Wumakou of Huarong county and ends at Tieshanzui of Linxiangcity. A 142-km-long embankment has been built along the Hunan section of the Yangtze. 

(Xinhua News Agency April 6, 2006)

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