Al Jazeera reported that in China as many as 33 rivers have risen to their highest levels in history after days of torrential rain, a senior water ministry official has said, with more rain forecast. Al Jazeera reported that in China as many as 33 rivers have risen to their highest levels in history after days of torrential rain.
On Monday, the vice minister of water resources, Ye Jianchun, told a briefing that 33 rivers as well as major lakes like the Dongting, the Poyang, and Tai, had all soared beyond their warning levels since the flood season started in June.
Ye said: “Going into the key flood-prevention period of late July to early August, the current trends remain grim on the Yangtze and the Lake Tai basins.” He added that the belts of heavy rain that have lashed central China would eventually head north.
Since records began in 1961, average rainfall has been at its highest.
On Tuesday, state news agency, Xinhua, reported that the largest river in the country, the Yangtze, has begun to recede from the previous peak of 28.77m to 28.74m (94.38ft to 94.29ft).
Last Friday, it was said by the emergency ministry that 141 people were dead or missing, and economic losses are estimated at 60 billion yuan ($8.57bn).
“Red alerts” for major population centers such as Xianning, Jiujiang, and Nanchang have been issued by flood-control authorities throughout the Yangtze basin.
At Poyang Lake too, a red alert has been declared as the water levels there are more than 3 meters (9.84ft) higher than normal, another record high.
Sandbags were filled by soldiers to shore up riverbanks and prevent more damage in some flood-stricken regions. Al Jazeera reports that town streets were inundated, rescue workers wading through hip-deep water with inflatable boats to reach people trapped in homes turned into islands.
On Monday, warning levels were breached at more than 70 flood-monitoring stations according to water ministry data.
At the Three Gorges reservoir, which cut its discharge volumes for a fifth time on Saturday to ease downstream water levels, water levels have now increased to 153.2 meters (502.62ft), 6.7 meters (21.98ft) higher than the warning level.