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China battles unprecedented floods around its largest freshwater lake

14 July 2020 11:44
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China battles unprecedented floods around its largest freshwater lake

NANCHANG. KAZINFORM - China is bracing for serious flooding in the area of Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province, as water level at the country's largest freshwater lake remains high above alert level, amid ongoing torrential rains that have caused widespread flooding along the Yangtze River basin.

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The water level at the lake's key Xingzi hydrological station rose to 22.6 meters at 10 a.m. Monday, breaking the 22.52-meter record of 1998, and well above the alert level of 19 meters.

Home to more than 46 million people, Jiangxi has been among the worst affected areas in recent weeks, as the Yangtze River basin witnessed floods following the heaviest average rainfall in decades. There has been unprecedented flooding along several rivers that lead into Poyang Lake, and the rising levels suggest that the overall situation is grim.

Jiangxi has made every effort to wrestle with the unfolding disaster, raising its flood-control response to the highest level on Saturday and mobilizing a wide range of resources to tackle flood risks.

Chinese leadership has called for the greatest efforts to ensure the safety of people's lives and property.

Vice Minister of Emergency Management Zheng Guoguang said that since June, more than 38 million people across the country had been affected by floods, with 141 people dead or missing.

Warning levels had been exceeded in a total of 433 rivers, mainly distributed in the basins of the Yangtze River and Taihu Lake, Zheng told a press conference, adding that the average precipitation in the Yangtze River basin since June is a record high since 1961.


Poyang Lake is fed by several rivers within Jiangxi, and the lake's water then flows into the Yangtze River, China's longest waterway. The water then flows eastward to the sea. As a conjunction point, the lake functions to adjust the water levels of rivers during drought and flood seasons.

Weeks of torrential rains have swelled rivers and lakes in Jiangxi, with several embankment breaches taking place, resulting in flooding on a scale not seen before.

The provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said that 2,439 km of the 2,545 km of riverside and lakeside embankments in the province had seen water levels exceeding the warning marks. The Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) said Saturday that China had allocated 190 boats, 3,000 tents, 10,000 folding beds, 10,000 blankets and 20,000 quilts to Jiangxi to help with local flood control and disaster relief.

A total of 615 million yuan of disaster-relief funds, allocated by the Ministry of Finance and the MEM, were channeled to flood-ravaged regions, including Jiangxi, Hubei, Anhui and Chongqing.

China has invested heavily in water-conservation projects to enhance its capability to withstand both droughts and flooding. Last year, the country spent a record 726 billion yuan on water-conservation projects.


Source: Xinhua



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