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Flood-triggered pipeline damage cuts off water supply to 330,000 in Jilin, NE China

08-03-2010 10:20 BJT Special Report:China Fights Worst Flood in Decades |

TONGHUA, Jilin - Torrential rain has damaged water pipelines in Tonghua, an industrial city in Northeast China's Jilin province, leaving 330,000 people without tap water, a city official said on Monday.

Residents wait for drinking water in Tonghua, Jilin province August 2. Torrential rain has damaged water pipelines in the city, leaving 330,000 people without tap water. To relief the water shortage, fire trucks and temporary water supply stations provide water to residential communities in the city every day. [Photo/Xinhua]
Residents wait for drinking water in Tonghua, Jilin province August 2. 
Torrential rain has damaged water pipelines in the city, leaving 330,000 
people without tap water. To relief the water shortage, fire trucks and 
temporary water supply stations provide water to residential communities 
in the city every day. [Photo/Xinhua]
Floodwaters had gushed into Tonghua's water plant at the Changliu Reservoir after a section of embankments was breached on Saturday. Four water pipelines were damaged, cutting off the water supply for the entire city, said Wang Ruimin, director of the public utility bureau in Tonghua.

The four pipelines were cut off and three of them were swept away in the floodwater.

The local government is constructing a 350-meter-long temporary pipeline until a new water supply system can be installed, China News Service reported on Monday. The report said it is expected to take three days for the water supply to be restored.

"The bureau has mobilized 300 workers to repair the pipelines, but an exact date cannot be given regarding when the water supply will be restored." Wang said.

City authorities are working to ensure there is an adequate supply of bottled water for drinking and have ordered 25 fire trucks to deliver water for other domestic use to residential communities in the city every day from 5 am to 8 pm.

Nevertheless, local residents continue to rush out to buy bottled water and queue up at local wells, China National Radio reported.

Floods and heavy rainfall have struck large parts of Jilin, leaving more than 100 people dead or missing since June 1, provincial civil affairs officials said on Sunday.

In the hardest-hit areas, flash floods cut roads, isolated villages and disrupted communications and water supplies.

In Huadian city of Jilin province, floodwater resulted in 46 casualties and paralyzed transportation on major road arteries. Telecommunications and the electricity supply have also been cut off, local authorities said.

In other areas in the province, the floodwater has carried off heavy ships and thousands of barrels containing chemicals after major reservoirs on the Songhua River swelled to critical levels in Jilin province.

As of 7 am on Monday, a total of 7,017 barrels had been retrieved, though it has yet to be established how many of them contain flammable liquid, China National Radio reported.

Additionally, about 37,000 houses have collapsed and 125,000 others have been damaged while 592,000 residents have been evacuated, the provincial civil affairs department said in its latest update on the disaster, adding that economic losses due to natural disasters since June have reached 9.15 billion yuan ($1.35 billion).

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