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President Hu on Flood Control in East China
Chinese President Hu Jintao has called for efforts to ensure the dykes of the Huaihe River, one of the country's major rivers, will not be breached as the water level has been rising rapidly due to continuous rainfall.

Speaking by telephone to Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu on Saturday, Hu, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), urged the country's top flood control official to give top priority to the protection of people's lives during the ongoing fight against floodwaters.

The vice-premier was inspecting flood control work on the dyke of the river in Anhui Province, where water levels have been rising due to heavy rain since late June.

Hu called for every effort to well arrange the livelihood of the people in flood-hit areas, to prevent the possible outbreak of epidemic disease arising from the flood, and to keep the flood-related damage to minimum.

Rarely-seen high water levels have prompted flood control authorities to take emergency measures to prevent dykes from being breached, including using designated areas for storing or diverting floodwater from the river, and blowing up part of the dyke of a lake to release floodwater.

About 200,000 people have been evacuated from the areas designated for storing or diverting floodwater from the Huaihe River in east China's Anhui Province.

The river has reached and, in some parts, even risen above the water level of the severe flood in 1991.

Some evacuees live with their relatives or friends and some in spare houses of schools or factories. The provincial government has allocated over 13 million yuan (1.57 million US dollars) and a large amount of relief goods including food, medicines and over 5,000 tents to the flood-hit areas.

The Huaihe River originates in Henan Province, central China, and runs across the provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu and Shandong before emptying into the Yellow Sea.

(Xinhua News Agency July 7, 2003)

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