INTRODUCTION: Nearly two thousand people been killed by floods in the Yellow River in China this year, according to official figures.
TV Dam at Longyang
GV Partially built dam
GG PAN Workers on dam site
GV PAN Flood waters
GV PAN Damaged electricity pylons
SV PULL BACK TO GV Damaged electricity pylons and tilting house
GV Floodwater coming through spillway (2 shots)
GV Workers on dam
SV PULL BACK TO GV Workers laying pipeline
TV PAN Workers on construction site
SV PAN Workers digging on site (3 shots)
SV Lorry tipping stones and workers collecting them together (3 shots)
SV & GV Workers shoring up dam with sandbags and stones (3 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Nearly two thousand people been killed by floods in the Yellow River in China this year, according to official figures. The river is flowing at its highest level for fifty years at Longyang, Qinghai Province, in the remote north-east of China. A huge hydro-electric power station situated there is threatened.
SYNOPSIS: The Coffer dam at Longyang has been the scene of intense activity since the water level of the yellow River rose dramatically. more than fifteen thousand workers and soldiers are toiling day and night to raise the height of the dam, which protects the massive hydro-electric power station situated there. Two hundred and eighty-eight families of Nomadic herdsmen have been evacuated from the area. A special spillway has been opened at the dam to let the worst of the floodwater through.
The dam has already been raised by 3 metres (nearly 10 feet). The Longyang dam is expected to be safe if the rainfall ceases soon. The flood's peak was expected to reach the dam on Friday or Saturday (18/19 September).
The danger has drawn concern from the highest levels of government with the power station vital for this vast part of a vast country. The Power Industry Minister, Li Peng, is on the spot to supervise the work on the dam and other urgent precautionary measures. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the city of Lanzhou in the West and in one area over ten thousand people have been mobilised to reinforce the dykes.
In recent months the floods have been left about two million people homeless. The Chinese government has called on the railway authorities to keep the flood damage to a minimum on the important line to the iron and steel centre of Baotou, further downstream. The dam at Longyang is still being raised, since the river is rising at a rate of 1.2 metres (four feet) a day. More than seven hundred and sixty people died last month in the province of Shaanxi in the north west, but eighteen of the twenty-three roads destroyed by the floods have already been repaired. Chinese Trades unions have donated two million yuan (GBP750,000) to flood victims in Sichuan province. The Yellow River is traditionally known as "China's Sorrow" because of the regular devastation it has caused.