Three Gorges Dam Water Level Rising To Critical Height

The death toll from the flooding that has swept across southern and central China this year has passed 750 with at least a further 367 people missing. Xinhua reported 742 deaths as of Friday morning and another 34 over the past two days. The severity of the current situation was highlighted by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who warned that more serious floods and disasters were in the offing. The International Red Cross notes that water levels in more than 230 rivers have risen above the danger mark and that some areas along the Yangtze River are experiencing their worst flooding in 30 years. In Shaanxi, one of the worst-hit of the 28 affected provinces, the Luofu River, a tributary of the Weihe, burst its banks Saturday, forcing more than 9,000 people to flee their homes. (Map of affected provinces.)

Much attention is now focused on the Three Gorges Dam (below, showing water being discharged on July 21 to lower the level of its reservoir). The dam, built in part to control the seasonal flooding of the Yangtze River, is facing its most severe test since being completed four years ago. With water levels in the upper reaches of the rain-swollen river at their highest since 1987, the dam set a record level of 158 meters on Friday, just 17 meters below capacity. Though the level fell slightly, the flood control authority says it expects that to reverse as torrential rain continues to fall upstream.

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One response to “Three Gorges Dam Water Level Rising To Critical Height

  1. Pingback: New Flood Surge Threat To Three Gorges Dam « China Bystander

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