Saturday, August 22, 1998 Published at 07:29 GMT 08:29 UK
China floods 'worst ever'
Soldiers and sandbags battle against nature
Flood levels in parts of China are the worst since records began, according to officials.
Hundreds of thousands of troops and civilians worked to protect embankments in the city and outlying areas.
Officials said they were confident the city's defences would hold, but there have been some leaks.
The president of China, Jiang Zemin, has postponed a trip to Russia and Japan because of the severity of the floods.
Residents of a nearby island - normally a popular tourist resort - have been evacuated.
And state television has reported that troops have been called in to help re-open the city's flooded waterworks.
The waterfront Stalin Park has been closed after water seeped through a hastily-built wall of sandbags.
Further along the river, divers were called in to find the source of another leak.
Water levels have been 0.75m higher than in 1957, the year that held the record for the worst flooding.
Throughout Harbin, people have been donating money to flood-relief efforts and a nationally-televised charity concert featuring pop stars and celebrities - some from Hong Kong and Taiwan - collected a reported $45m.
Elsewhere along the Songhua, battle is being lost.
As flood defences are strengthened in cities, villages are being surrendered to the waters.
The devastation is just as widespread in central China where the Yangtze river has remained above emergency levels for more than a month.
But there was some relief in the city of Wuhan when a Yangtze flood crest passed without breaking through the dike defences.
Government figures say 2,000 people have died and millions have been left homeless.
But as the floodwaters show no sign of abating, the figures are also expected to rise further.