Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/212

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4. The Hwang Ho,[1] or Yellow River, nearly 2500 miles in length, draining an area of 47,500 square miles, forms the boundary between Shensi and Shansi. It turns abruptly eastward at its point of junction with the Wei, and after passing 7 miles to the north of Kaifeng Fu it flows east and north-east through Chihli into Shantung and the Gulf of Pechihli. It is very difficult of navigation. Vast sums of money have been spent to construct powerful dykes, and the treacherous banks in some places have been stone-faced to prevent them giving way and thus flooding the adjacent country. This work, which was formerly in the hands of the Ho-Tao or Governor of the River, is now entrusted to the Provincial Governor.

5. The Lo river, from the mountains bordering on Shensi and Honan, flows in a north-easterly direction past Honan Fu into the Yellow River.

6. The Sha river collects the water flowing from the mountains in the west centre of the province. It flows eastward past Hiangcheng Hsien, Yencheng, Chowkiakow, Yingchow Fu to unite with the Hwai river at Chenyangkwan. From thence it passes viâ the Great Lakes into the Grand Canal.

7. The Hwai river drains the south-eastern part of the province, the neighbourhood of Kwangchow. It flows in a north-easterly direction to join the Sha.

8. The Peh and T'ang rivers flow southward, to join the Han river in the south-west of the province.

  1. "200 li east of Honan Fu the Yellow River is 1½ mile wide. The southern shore is steep, the northern is flat and indistinct. The river is navigable from Lung-men-k'eo (90 li north-east of Kaifeng Fu) to Meng-tsin Hsien, a city 40 li north-east of Honan Fu, a distance of 125 miles. The navigation is difficult on account of shoals and the swiftness of the current. The embankments of the river being made of fine sand are difficult to keep in repair, and disastrous floods have been caused by the water breaking through at some weak point. "In 1848 it broke through at Laoyang Hsien. In 1868 a rupture occurred near Chengchow, 150 li from Kaifeng Fu. In 1869 it recurred and submerged a region 200 li square, comprising Chengchow, Chong-mu Hsien, Wei-chuan Hsien, T'ung-hsü Hsien, and Ch'ï Hsien. "Lasting damage was done, as the inundated country was covered with sand and rendered unfit for cultivation of grain. The damaged embankment has been repaired by the Government at a cost of two million taels. It is the region composing the right bank of the river, a few miles below Sï-shui Hsien, which is chiefly exposed to danger."—Baron Richthofen.