Rains push Heilongjiang’s main river to record high

Local officials ordered to reinforce flood walls along waterway that marks border with Russia

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 August, 2013, 9:44pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 August, 2013, 5:21am

Flooding in Heilongjiang province showed no sign of easing yesterday as heavy rain lashed areas along the river marking the border between China and Russia, pushing water levels to record heights.

At least 85 people have died and 105 are missing in the northeast provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning since flooding began to wreak havoc almost two weeks ago.

The Tongjiang section of the Heilong River, also known as the Amur River, reached 56.1 metres, 1.68 metres above safety levels, according to China News Service. At one monitoring station, water was 2.5 metres above safety levels.

Provincial meteorological officials said water levels would likely remain high over the next 10 days, Xinhua reported.

Authorities have ordered local governments to reinforce flood walls after damage to a dyke between Tongjiang and Fuyuan county left a breach 200 metres long, flooding a large area of farmland.

Floods have cut off roads leading to Fuyuan county, which has a population of 170,000 people and sits across the border from the Russian city of Khabarovsk.

Some sections of the Heilong river have reached their highest levels since 1896 when records began, Xinhua said.

Premier Li Keqiang discussed flood control and disaster relief with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in telephone conversations on Monday. It was their second talk in less than a week as the two countries jointly battle floods that have hit eastern Russia as well as northeast China. Li said he hoped Russia would help lower the flood waters in China by using its reservoir upstream.