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China Blasted Open Embankment to Deal with Disastrous Flooding

A new round of heavy rain that started on July 17 is wreaking havoc on the middle and lower reaches along the Yangtze River. With torrential rainfall taking place, areas such as Chongqing, Jiangsu, and Anhui, the Yangtze River, Lake Tai, the Huai River and other waters are experiencing severe flooding.

The Hydrological and Water Resources Survey Bureau of Jingzhou City, Hubei Province issued its highest flood warning on July 19, indicating that, due to heavy rainfall, the water level of Lake Chang has reached 32.84 meters, 0.34 meters above the warning level. The water level of Lake Hong is 26.99 meters, .02 meters above the highest level. It is expected to rise and stay at a high mark for a while. The water level of 12.83 meters of Lake Chao in Anhui province exceeded the historical high of 12.80 meters, which was in 1991. The flooding in the Yangtze River on July 18 also rewrote the record books of Nanjing city’s hydrological history, bringing a water level to 10.26 meters, 0.04 meters higher than the record set in 1954.

According to the official Xinhua News Agency, at 3 a.m. on July 19, the embankment of the Chu River in Anhui province was blasted open in two gaps, and water flowed into two flood storage areas. It was a measure viewed as a last resort to handle the continuously rising water level that would possibly run over the embankments. These two areas were previously used in 1991, 2003, 2008, and 2015.

Affected by the water coming from upstream and local areas, the inflow and water level of the Three Gorges Reservoir continued to rise. On July 17, the upstream of the Qing River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, saw a peak water level of 420.68 meters. It was higher than the historic level of 420.64 meters in 1989. As the water level continued to rise, the urban district of Enshi city was almost soaked. The authorities decided to elevate the emergency response of the urban flood control to the highest level.

Source: Central News Agency, July 19, 2020