INTRODUCTION: For several weeks, floodwaters have devastated a number of provinces in China leaving behind a trail of death and destruction.
GV PAN Longyang Gorge filled with waters from Yellow River
GV PAN Construction to save hydro-dam
GV Swirling waters in gorge
TV PAN Flow of water past Longyang dam
GV Repair crew on electric power pole
GV Flood water at base of power poles
SV Food rations being handed out (5 shots)
GV ZOOM OUT Flooded Yellow river passing under bridge
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Background: INTRODUCTION: For several weeks, floodwaters have devastated a number of provinces in China leaving behind a trail of death and destruction. The number of people drowned or missing is in the hundreds, while tens of thousands have been made homeless. The floods have caused several billion dollars' damage in the loss of stock, property and crops. One project that has managed to survive so far is a massive hydro-electric scheme on the Yellow River in the remote Qinghai province.
SYNOPSIS: The flood waters of the Yellow river filled the Longyang Gorge and swept towards the hydro-electric dam which is still under construction. Engineers at the project became concerned for the safety of the dam after the waters breached a series of dykes in three downstream areas. A hastily reinforced casing was erected by around 15,000 workers.
A dyke was built on top of the hydro-dam. Wire cages were filled with stones, then with 30-tonne cement blocks. These were dumped into the river at the dam's base. The reinforcements did all that was required of them and withstood the unrelenting flow of the swollen Yellow river.
Repair crews went into action to restore power lines. The flood crest passed the hydro-electric project without causing serious damage or loss of life. But the situation was not so good in neighbouring Ningxia province.
The population was evacuated in advance and cared for by authorities as the floods swept aside dykes to swamp 4,000 hectares (10,000 acres) of farmland. A total of 120,000 soldiers and civilians repaired and strengthened 360 kilometres (225 miles) of dykes but their efforts were in vain. The timely moving of residents to higher ground, saved lives.
The Yellow River is traditionally known as "China's Sorrow" because of the death and destruction it has caused.