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Ice flow period of Yellow River prolonged
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The period of ice flow in Yellow River will be prolonged this year, according to local authorities.

By Friday, ice had blocked 45 kilometers of the river in Shaanxi Province in northwest China.

"In the past, ice flows finished at the end of January, but now in late February, ice flows are still growing," said an unnamed official with the provincial Headquarters of Flood Control and Drought Relief.

With the rise in temperature, flowing ice is likely to pose a threat to dams in the river's lower reaches, said the official. He was unable to say when the ice flows would end.

Separately, the far northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has resettled 8,000 people and evacuated 32,000 cattle in the Ili River Valley due to ice flows which inflicted a direct economic loss of more than eight million yuan (about 1.1 million U.S. dollars).

Ice flows since Jan. 24 have been spotted in 35 kilometers of the Ili River on the China-Kazakhstan border, affecting six of the nine counties in the valley, destroying embankments and flooding 315 homes. But there have been no reports of human casualties.

The ice flows on the Ili are the worst since 2000, and are likely to worsen over the next few days in the 442-kilometer Chinese section of the river as temperatures have dropped since Thursday.

Governments in the region have sent workers and bulldozers to reinforce the embankment and remove ice from the blocked sections.

(Xinhua News Agency February 23, 2008)

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