Vigilant guardians fight flood along Yangtze

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HEFEI: Situated along the Yangtze River, China’s longest waterway, Walong village has a history of enduring multiple floods, during which every household sends representatives to patrol the river bank.
“Since the water exceeded the warning level on July 5, we have been patrolling along the bank of the Yangtze River around the clock,” said Hu Mingzhe, director of the villagers’ committee of Walong, Dongzhi County, in east China’s Anhui Province.
Patrollers use long bamboo sticks or shovels to remove weeds at the bottom of the levee and carefully examine if there is any water leakage on the ground. Villagers patrol the bank in three shifts, with five people in each shift.
“If muddy water is flowing out from the bottom of the embankment, that’s very dangerous. The flowing water washes away dirt in the structure and erodes the entire embankment,” Hu said.
Hu and his fellow villagers are responsible for the safety of a 500-meter-long embankment. If there is a leak, they need to notify the authorities immediately, because any leakage could cause the dike to collapse. On the embankment, flood control watch-houses, made of tents, have been set up every 500 meters to ensure that any emergency can be handled promptly. – Agencies