Chinese soldiers battle the raging floodwaters to repair the collapsed dyke along the Nenjiang river in Daqing. The dyke collapsed and floodwaters swarmed a large part of the main Daqing oilfields. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1998 - Rising floodwaters have swamped 2,500 wells in China’s biggest oilfield and are now threatening nine million people in the northeastern city of Harbin. As millions of soldiers and civilians battled to limit the damage, a seventh flood crest gathering on the Yangtze river in central China sparked fears of more flood misery. In the Russian-built city of Harbin, water levels had already risen to 398.24 feet and thousands of soldiers and civilians were frantically piling sandbanks on the river embankments through the city centre. “Rising water levels have already caused the flooding of more than 2,500 wells,” an official said.

Other important events

1919 - Afghanistan declares independence from the UK.

1953 - Iran’s nationalist government collapses following a military coup.

1955 - Severe flooding in America’s Northeast caused by Hurricane Diane claims 200 lives.

1966 - More than 500 people killed in an earthquake in eastern Turkey.

1974 - US Ambassador Rodger P. Davies is shot and killed at the US embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus.

1978 - Militants barred the doors and set fire on Cinema Rex in Abadan, Iran, killing at least 400 people.

1981 - The heads of state of Libya, Ethiopia and South Yemen sign a treaty of friendship and cooperation.

1994 - Chandrika Kumaratunga is sworn in as Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister.

2002 - Palestinian fighter Abu Nidal is found dead in Baghdad.

2003 - A massive car bomb destroys the UN headquarters in Baghdad, killing at least 17 people.