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Emergency repairs have started at the Xiangjiang River in Central China's Hunan province. A dyke patrolman found a swelling leak along the Yanjiagang section in Xiangtan county.
Water from the leak submerged four villages and one resident community in three hours.
The local government and provincial military command have mobilized thousands of people soldiers to plug the dyke.
A water conservancy expert figures the outside sluice gate of the Yanjiagang dyke has been deformed by high pressure of the past crest.
1,200 residents have been moved to safety. Authorities are considering the best way to plug the leak, as emergency repairs continue.