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Residents relocated after dam breach at China’s second-largest freshwater lake

Rescue workers search for stranded residents with boats after waters breached a dike at Dongting lake and led to flooding in Huarong County of Yueyang, Hunan province, China, on July 6, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Around 5,700 residents were relocated after waters breached a dike at China’s second-largest freshwater lake in the south of the country, while rescue workers rushed to contain further damage from outflows, Chinese state media said on July 6.

More than 2,300 rescue personnel were working to build a second line of defence for floodwaters after Friday’s breach across a 226-metre (740-foot) area in Hunan province, China Central Television reported.

No one had been harmed as of early Saturday, reports said.

Footage from state media showed a wave of water surging through a breach in the dike past several overturned lorries, into pools engulfing several houses.

Heavy rainfall pounded parts Hunan province earlier this week, causing the Miluo River in Pingjiang county to swell to its highest in 70 years.

Local authorities responded by activating the maximum emergency response level. State media showed large parts of towns waterlogged and stranded people being rescued on boats.

Water levels at Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province were also being closely watched, China’s Ministry of Water Resource said on Tuesday.

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