The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has formed 19 special units to fight floods in case of emergency.
This was done because it was found that it was difficult for troops without special skills and equipment to deal with the torrential floods, sources say.
The special units consist of engineering troops who are armed with advanced technology and equipment, according to PLA sources.
The officers and soldiers in these troops wear red arm-bands decorated with a pick axe and oar and the letters KHYJ -- the initials of the Chinese name given to the troops.
The troops will be responsible for anti-flooding activities along seven major rivers including the Yangtze, Yellow, Huai, Hai,Songhua-Liao, Pearl and Min Rivers.
The army has played a major role in minimizing the losses from floods. Over the past dozen years, PLA officers and soldiers have been involved in rescue activities during the flood season and offered help to over 10 million flood victims, according to official figures.
In the summer of 1998, 300,000 PLA officers and men worked withlocal people to overcome the devastating floods in major river areas.
(Xinhua News Agency June 12, 2002)