Mu­seum owner fo­cuses on fight against flood­ing

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - Liang Shuang con­trib­uted to this story. By LIUKUN in Wuhan

Al­though the owner of the coun­try’s largest pi­ano mu­seum de­votes most of his en­ergy to his pi­ano and art mu­se­ums, He Li­jun uses his ex­per­tise in ge­ol­ogy to fight flood­ing.

With the help of engi­neers, he de­vel­oped a flood bar­rier shield that has the po­ten­tial to aid fu­ture flood pre­ven­tion.

“I was in­spired by the Ger­man ‘flood fight­ing mas­ter­piece’, ” he said. “I de­vel­oped my ver­sion in a month.”

Dur­ing flood­ing in China, an on­line pic­ture show­ing a wall of Ger­man flood bar­rier shields block­ing flood­wa­ter in­trigued Chi­nese ne­ti­zens, who la­beled it a “flood fight­ing mas­ter­piece”.

It was, in fact, the Mach­land damm in Aus­tria.

“It can only be built on solid sur­faces, and its ma­te­rial, alu­minum al­loy, is very costly,” He said, adding that de­spite its ef­fec­tive­ness in Aus­tria, a sim­i­lar bar­rier could not be used in China.

Nev­er­the­less, he learned from the con­struc­tion.

“We use nor­mal steel boards, so the cost is lower,” he said. “This ma­te­rial can be set ei­ther on firm, con­crete ground or soft, dirt ground.”

His new “mas­ter­piece” re­cently passed a test in which it with­stood 1.85-me­ter-“flood­wa­ter”. It is cur­rently be­ing tried at a lake in Hei­longjiang province.

“This may prove to be a great help in block­ing a dike breach,” Deng Shu­liang, deputy chief-of-staff of the Armed Po­lice Force, who spe­cial­izes in flood­ing, said in an in­ter­view with the Chutian Me­trop­o­lis Daily.

“It’s easy to set up and it has ad­van­tages that tra­di­tional sand­bags don’t pos­sess,” Deng said.

This year saw flood­ing from the Yangtze River. Wa­ter lev­els in Wuhan reached the fifth-high­est ever recorded.

“Restor­ing pi­anos is a kind of cre­ation, so is de­vel­op­ing the ‘mas­ter­piece’, ” he said. “It’s the process of cre­ation that keeps me go­ing.”

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

He Li­jun stands in wa­ter dur­ing a test in Wuhan of the flood bar­rier shield he in­vented.

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