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Dam Burst Forces Evacuation of 16,000 People in Inner Mongolia

A total of 16,000 people were evacuated after heavy rain burst a dam in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on early Wednesday.

The reservoir, with a capacity of 3.55 million cubic meters, burst at 8.15 AM in in Ar Horqin County of Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, a spokesman of the local government said.

Nearly 16,000 people in four towns downstream were affected, and had been relocated as of Wednesday afternoon, the spokesman said.

So far, no casualties have been reported, the official said.

The heavy rain hit northern Ar Horqin County since Monday, with a maximum downfall of 154.5 millimeters.

The reservoir burst had flooded over four million mu (about 267,000 hectares) of grassland and tore down houses.

Rainstorms earlier hit the Xing'an League, a large rural area in eastern Inner Mongolia, from June 20 to 22, killing five and affecting more than 90,000 people.

(Xinhua News Agency June 26, 2008)

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