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Lakhs evacuated from flood hit areas

world Updated: Aug 23, 2010 08:22 IST
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About 2.54 lakh residents have been safely evacuated in northeast China's Liaoning Province bordering North Korea as the water level of a major river rose following torrential rains, the state media reported on Monday.

The hundreds of thousands of residents, mostly in Dandong City, were relocated in less than 24 hours from late Saturday to Sunday, provincial flood control authorities said.

Among those rescued was a 23-year-old woman who gave birth to a healthy baby just hours after she was air-lifted out of the flood zone, the official Xinhua reported today.

Reports from North Korea also said several thousands of people were evacuated from cities and villages on its side of the border.

No new casualties were reported till today. Earlier, the authorities had said that four people were killed and one remains missing following floods in Dandong, a border city facing Sin'uiju City in North Korea.

Heavy rainfalls that began Thursday have swelled the Yalu River, which marks the border of China and North Korea. On Saturday night, the water level at one monitoring station in Dandong rose to 2.35 meters above the warning line, the highest in a decade and the second highest since records began being kept in 1934.

However, water levels began to dip late on Sunday as rains stopped, though provincial authorities warned that the danger has not yet passed.

Workers are racing to build sand bag flood barriers along part of the river where the water has overflowed. Over two thousand soldiers and crews have been mobilized to rescue stranded residents.

About 70 vehicles, 38 speed boats and six helicopters were used in the rescue operations, local officials said.

China is hit by string of rain-triggered disasters recently as the country battles its worst floods in more than a decade.

In southwest China's Yunnan Province, as of Sunday, 29 people were killed and 63 remained missing after mudslides hit the remote, mountainous town of Gongshan on Wednesday.

Rain-triggered mudslides also killed more than 18 people in Wenchuan and Qingchuan counties in southwest China's Sichuan - which was devastated by a massive earthquake in 2008.

In the northwestern province of Gansu, at least 1,435 people were killed and another 330 are reported missing after an avalanche of mud and rocks hit the centre town of Zhouqu County at mid-night August 7.