Thousands return to hometown to fight off floods | #students | #parents

A construction team repairs a broken dike in Poyang county, Jiangxi province, on Monday. The Wenguidao dike was breached on Wednesday as a result of continuous heavy rainfall. The breach was about 120 meters wide, 110 meters of which had been rebuilt by press time on Monday. [ZHU WENBIAO/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Letter from deluged Jiangxi island spurs residents into action

Several thousand people have returned to Jiangzhou town, Jiangxi province, to save their hometown from being flooded after the local flood control authority said in a letter that it was severely short-handed and needed young people to come home to help battle the swelling Yangtze River.

After reading the letter on social media on Saturday, Xu Xin immediately forwarded it on her WeChat account and asked if anyone else wanted to come along to help protect her hometown.

Jiangzhou is on an island surrounded by the Yangtze River, so flood control activities in the summer are familiar to the 20-year-old, who was born in the township in Jiujiang city.

Although she moved to the urban area of the city when she was a child, Xu often comes back during Spring Festival and school holidays, she said on Monday.

“This year, the flood is something else. It came much earlier, and the water level is shocking,” said Xu, who is a student at Jiangsu Vocational College of Finance and Economics in Huai’an city and returned home for summer holiday. “Many houses near the ferry dock of Jiangzhou are already underwater.”

There are only about 7,000 people living in Jiangzhou, and many of them are older people. Fewer than 1,000 people are capable of carrying out flood control activities and defending the 34.6-kilometer dam. The town is severely shorthanded in terms of flood control workers, the letter issued on July 10 said.

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