Thousands of rescuers, including firefighters, hydrologists, volunteers and police, have joined hands to protect people's lives and property following a dike breach on Friday at Dongting Lake, China's second-largest freshwater lake in central China's Hunan Province.

At 5:48 p.m. on Friday, a Dongting Lake dike burst in Tuanzhou Township, Huarong County, administered by the city of Yueyang in Hunan Province, causing flooding in the area. The breach was initially about 10 meters wide but later expanded.

Following the immediate relocation of around 5,000 residents from the affected area, urgent measures have been taken to repair the breach. As of Sunday noon, 75 meters of the 226-meter breach in the dike had been sealed, according to the Yueyang flood control and drought relief headquarters.

Rescuers are also racing against time to reinforce a 14.3-kilometer-long embankment, viewed as the "second line of defense," located around 2 kilometers from the breached dike.

As of 2:40 p.m. Saturday, the water levels both inside and outside the breach had nearly matched, while the water flow had slowed down. Zhang Xuanzhuang, with the China Anneng Group First Engineering Bureau Co., Ltd., noted that the repair work was expected to take four days.

At the national emergency management headquarters in Beijing, a large central screen showed live footage of the breached dike, while screens on the sides displayed scrolling hydrological data, geographical conditions, rescue operations, and related information.

The Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM), the Ministry of Water Resources and the China Meteorological Administration have continued their joint efforts to conduct consultations and video links with front-line teams and local authorities in Hunan, to monitor the progress of rescue and relief operations, as well as the need for personnel, materials and equipment.

A work team has also been dispatched to Hunan to guide rescue efforts, according to the MEM.

As of Saturday night, over 1,400 personnel from the China National Comprehensive Fire and Rescue Team had arrived at the site. The MEM's natural disaster emergency rescue center has also deployed 350 professionals to support rescue efforts.

According to the Yueyang flood control and drought relief headquarters, 4,739 rescuers have rushed to join the frontlines as of 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Surveying drones and remote sensing satellites are being used to collect images of the breach and the surrounding affected area, while an emergency rescue vessel from the provincial capital Changsha has arrived to assist with placing sandbags to block the breach.

Additionally, emergency supplies have been dispatched to evacuation and resettlement areas for the affected residents.

At a vocational school dormitory in Huarong County, more than 700 affected residents are being housed. In addition, students have volunteered to take necessities such as food and groceries to the villagers.

"Thanks to door-to-door visits by township officials and loudspeaker warnings in the village, my husband and I evacuated in time," said Ye Yanjiao from Tuanbei Village, who is in her 70s. "We feel safe staying here," she added.

According to staff at the resettlement point, over 120 volunteers are working hard to provide services and support at the school.

As of Friday, 5,000 family emergency kits had been organized and dispatched to Hunan from storage facilities across the country.

Hunan is not the only region to experience persistent heavy rains since the start of the flood season, with many other parts of the country also facing major risks and threats to local embankments and reservoirs.

Government agencies of meteorology, water conservancy, natural resources, and urban and rural development have provided flood control instructions for 18 rain-affected regions, including Hunan, Shandong, Henan and Shaanxi.

Local governments are prioritizing the monitoring of rain and flooding, while also creating contingency plans and reinforcing flood control facilities.