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Fight against Chinese floods boosted amid break in weather

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Soldiers are attempting to blast dikes on the Yangtze River and tributaries to spare villages
  • Almost 1,000 acres of farmland will be "sacrificed" in one area, official tells Xinhua
  • The weather has improved after days of "torrential rain," but flooding may continue
  • The National Meteorological Center will maintain the second-highest alert level
RELATED TOPICS
  • China
  • Yangtze River

(CNN) -- Efforts to battle flooding around central China's Yangtze River have been ramped up to take advantage of improved weather after days of "torrential rain," state-run Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

Soldiers are working to blast dikes on the Yangtze and its swollen tributaries to keep floodwater away from villages along the banks, the news agency said.

In east-central Anhui Province, soldiers were successful in Tongcheng City, where they destroyed a leaking dike, and in Huaining County, where they partially blasted four, diverting floodwater to farmlands instead of the homes of 100,000 people, Xinhua said.

Almost 1,000 acres of farmland will be "sacrificed," as a result, Liu Feiyue, head of the Huaining government, told the news agency.

Soldiers were delayed in similar efforts on the Dasha River and instead evacuated 1,000 residents, Xinhua said.

Anquing, in east-central Anhui Province, was slammed with the heaviest rain it has seen in five decades, officials reported to Xinhua. The Daguan district had water up to 10 feet deep, causing communication and power breakdowns.

The news agency also reported that flooding Wednesday forced 10,000 people to evacuate in Jiangxi Province, just south of Anhui, while to the west, 13 are dead and 32 missing in Qiaojia County, in Yunnan Province, after flash floods Tuesday. "Rain-triggered landslides" killed 14 in Sichuan Province, north of Yunnan, it said.

Since early July, the floods have caused 107 deaths, left 59 people missing and forced the evacuation of almost 1 million people from 10 Chinese provinces, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, Xinhua said.

Despite the improved weather, the National Meteorological Center is holding its alert level at orange, the second-highest, and is warning that flooding may continue until Thursday, the news agency said.