China massive flood updates: Yangtze River in the throes of third flood peak, 45 million affected

Torrential rain resulted in the third flooding of the year on Yangtze River, putting the Three Gorges Dam under serious pressure and it is forecast to peak on Tuesday (July 28).
July 28, 2020 | 12:39
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It is reported by China's state-run mouthpiece Xinhua that the "No. 3 Flood" of the year had been declared for the embattled Three Gorges Dam that day. By 2 p.m July 27, the dam's reservoir recorded an inflow of 50,000 cubic meters per second, and it is expected to peak at 60,000 cubic meters per second by Tuesday, according to China's Ministry of Water Resources.

According to Taiwan News, since Saturday evening, Jianshi County in Enshi Prefecture of Hubei Province has been battered by torrential rains. The county has reported already been drenched with 180 millimeters of rain.

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The Kwanyin temple built on a rocky island in the middle of the Yangtze River is seen flooded as the water level surge along Ezhou in central China's Hubei province on Sunday, July 19, 2020. Photo: AP News

The heavy downpours have prompted local officials to raise the flood emergency from the second-highest level to the top alert, with some areas potentially seeing water levels climb to 560 mm. Official government statistics list five deaths and one person missing in Jianshi as of Sunday afternoon, with 160,000 across the county impacted by flooding.

China's National Meteorological Centre (NMC) predicts torrential rains in sections of Chongqing, Guizhou, Guangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui, and Jiangsu. The NMC predicts that these provinces will see 180 mm in daily rainfall, with some areas experiencing up to 70 millimeters of rain per hour.

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Buildings and farmlands are seen partially submerged in floodwaters following heavy rainfall in Poyang county of Jiangxi province, China July 17, 2020. Photo: China Daily via REUTERS

Xinhua quoted Minister of Water Resources E Jingping saying that as the flood peaks, the volume of floodwater discharges from the Three Gorges Dam must be "finely adjusted." He added that efforts should be made to "increase flood discharge" in the Huai River, reduce the water level of Hongze Lake and Lake Tai, and prepare for possible deluges.

Water levels on Lake Tai, which sits on the border of Jiangsu and Zhejiang have surpassed safe limits for nine days in a row. According to the Ministry of Water Resources, the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River below the city of Shishou have also surpassed safe limits.

As informed by CGTN that China on Monday decided to maintain the second highest-level flood alert in the Yangtze and Huaihe rivers as heavy downpours continue to lash large parts of southern and central China.

Flood No. 3 has formed on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The water level on the middle and lower reaches, Dongting and Poyang lakes has been above the danger mark for more than 20 days. Those of the Huaihe River and Taihu Lake continue to exceed the warning limit.

The Ministry of Emergency Management will continue to deploy rescue forces and relief materials in a timely manner to fully support local flood control and relief work. The authorities have allocated 30 million yuan to central China's Hubei Province to support efforts in rescue and relief.

China detected illegal construction inside a dike on the Yangtze River’s tributary

The Ministry of Water Resources and the local government of Nanjing have investigated the illegal construction of several restaurants and bars built inside one of the dikes of the main river that runs through the capital city of Jiangsu province.

According to China Daily, the five restaurants and bars were built inside a dike on the Qinhuai River located near Yangjiawei Park of Nanjing's Jiangning district. Each of them was built into holes that were about 12 meters deep and 3 meters high on the side of the dike that does not face the water.

The local government demolished all the windows, doors, and decorations of the illegal establishments on Sunday night. To avoid possible further damage to the dike, the concrete frames of the buildings were kept.

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A dike is opened to let floodwaters run into a 2,000-hectare storage area in Lujiang, Anhui province, on Monday. Photo: ZHANG DAGANG/FOR CHINA DAILY

The Qinhuai, which runs through the main districts of Nanjing, is a tributary on the right bank of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, added China Daily.

Due to heavy rains and large flows from the Yangtze, the Nanjing government raised the emergency response for flood control of the Qinhuai to the highest level earlier this month.

Experts have been sent to evaluate the damage to the dike, according to the Ministry of Water Resources.

Any violators of China's river management regulations will be severely punished, the government of Jiangning district said on its website.

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Malie Nguyen
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