Villagers in northeast battle major floodwaters

Continuous heavy rain has inundated 10,000 hectares of farmland with floodwaters in Xunke county, northeastern Heilongjiang province, according to the local government.

Persistent heavy rain starting last Wednesday has battered the county, affecting seven towns.

Though no casualties have been reported, the local government said about 10,000 hectares of cultivated land in nine villages were flooded, including 1,000 hectares in Zhanhe village, the closest to the Zhanhe River.

All roads in Zhanhe village were flooded, and water poured into villagers’ houses, causing property damage.

“Work to recover the village has started with the joint efforts of about 170 rescuers and all the villagers, including restoring traffic, draining water and disinfection treatment,” China Central Television reported on Tuesday. “It is expected to help the villagers resume normal life and work as soon as possible.”

Dozens of vehicles and machines, including 10 pumps, were used in the rescue and relief work.

About 270 villagers in Zhanhe village returned home after the water dropped to a safe level on Monday, the local government said.

“At 7 pm on June 28, the water level of the Zhanhe River reached 97.51 meters, 1.41 meters above the warning level,” the head of a local hydrological station, Dai Yunchong, told a local newspaper. “It recorded the highest water level since the establishment of this station in 1963.”

“The flood has had a serious impact on the surrounding villages and their villagers,” he added.

Villager Jin Wenhua said: “I planted 26,000 seedlings of ginseng around my house and I found all of them immersed in water when I returned. I was so anxious about the harvest being ruined.”

“Thanks to the rescuers who came immediately with a pump, all the water has been drained after 24 hours’ continuous work,” she said.

Wang Hongdong, deputy director of the county’s publicity department, said there are 123 rivers in Xunke, which makes the county more vulnerable to floods in the summer. “However, the floods usually recede rapidly,” he said.

He added that detailed information about the disaster is still being collected by different departments.

“The flood may cause a degree of decrease of the crop yields, and the agricultural department is collecting information about agricultural insurance the farmers purchased and developing plans to recover their losses as much as possible.”


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