A dike protecting China's largest oil field gave way yesterday, forcing the closure of some wells as devastating floods spread to the northeast.
Heilongjiang, an industrial and agricultural province that borders Russia, mobilised a million civilians and soldiers for "a round-the-clock fight" against the worst-ever floods on the Nen and Songhua rivers.
More than 200,000 people were fighting flooding in Daqing, a city of 2.34 million people and home of the field that produced half of China's oil output last year.
But a lack of manpower forced the abandonment of efforts to repair the dike that collapsed 60 miles from the city centre. Some 20,000 people were evacuated and no casualties were reported from the breach.
With a rain belt stretching across central China, floods were predicted to continue and to worsen in the northeast and along the Yellow River, which is expected to become dangerously swollen in the next few weeks, the official China Daily reported.
Meanwhile, residents and soldiers worked feverishly to fortify dikes along the turbulent Yangtze, bracing for yet another flood crest forecast to sweep down river within the next few days. …