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Workers in China rush to restore water to 330,000 people

Chinese residents carry a bin filled with water supplied by local government in Tonghua in northeast China's Jilin province on August 2, 2010, after water supply pipelines to the city were destroyed by flooding. Workers in northeast China were rushing to restore water, on August 3, to more than 300,000 people who have been cut off for days due to floods, state media said. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Aug 3, 2010
Workers in northeast China were rushing to restore water Tuesday to more than 300,000 people who have been cut off for days due to floods, state media said.

Water supply pipelines to the city of Tonghua in Jilin province were destroyed by flooding, leaving its 330,000 residents in need since Saturday, China National Radio reported.

Days of torrential rain in the country's northeast have triggered floods that have left more than 100 people dead or missing.

According to local media, workers were trying to replace four broken pipelines with new ones. But the national meteorological centre has warned of more rain to come in the region, which could hamper relief efforts.

An employee at Tonghua's flood control department, who refused to be named, told AFP that residents were still able to buy drinking water from shops, while fire engines were supplying non-drinking water at regular intervals.

China has been hit by its worst flooding in a decade, with about 1,000 killed and more than 500 missing since the start of the year.

Until recently, torrential rains had mostly hit China's south, swelling the Yangtze River -- the nation's longest waterway -- and some of its tributaries to dangerous levels. But the northeast has now also been affected.

The floods have triggered deadly landslides, cut off roads, left villages inaccessible and knocked out communications and water supplies in the worst-hit areas.

A total of 10 million people have had to be evacuated from their homes due to the disaster that has caused 194 billion yuan (29 billion dollars) in economic losses, according to the most recent official statistics.

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