4 Aug 2010

Floating debris threatens Chinese bridge and dams

10:51 pm on 4 August 2010

Vast floating islands of debris accumulated after torrential rains and flooding are threatening to topple a bridge and jam two big dams in China.

State media says one layer of rubbish covering 15,000 square metres has lodged under a bridge in the north-eastern city of Baishan in Jilin province and is blocking water flow.

If crews fail to clear the debris, officials fear a fresh wave of flooding could bring down the bridge and if the rubbish raft is washed downstream, it could block floodgates at the Yunfeng dam, Reuters reports.

State media reported this week a similar vast garbage mat was threatening to jam the locks of China's huge Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in south-western China.