Record floods put 20,000 at risk

More than 40 miles of dykes are in danger of being breached in an eastern Chinese province where floods have caused $1.2bn in losses, authorities said yesterday, as the country neared a critical point in battling seasonal rains.

Heavy rains pounded Zhejiang province over the weekend, and the level of a river that passes through Lanxi city has risen sharply. The Lanjiang river has now reached 110ft, the highest level since 1966.

Several sections of the dykes in Lanxi city are barely holding. More than 20,000 people could be affected if the dykes are breached.