Wuhan declares flood red alert. Officials worried that it may overwhelm their masterpiece, the 3 Gorges Dam (the world’s largest & most complicated river anti-flooding system). Hampering supply chains for COVID-19 relief products in other parts of the world.
Large parts of central and eastern China were reeling yesterday from the worst floods in decades.
The city of Wuhan and the provinces of Anhui, Jiangxi and Zhejiang declared red alerts as heavy rain swelled rivers and lakes.
The Three Gorges reservoir, which has been holding back more water to try to ease downstream flood risks, was more than 10m higher than its warning level, the Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province was 2.5m higher than its warning level and farther east, and the water level at Tai Lake near Shanghai rose to nearly 1m higher than its safe level.
The summer rainy season brings floods to China almost every year, but these are record-breaking.
ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) reports at least 140 people have died in central and eastern China as floodwaters rise. In weeks, 28,000 homes have been destroyed in the Yangtze River region, with at least 33 rivers reaching record-high levels.
As China counts the costs of its most punishing flood season in more than three decades, the role played by the massive and controversial Three Gorges Dam — designed to help tame the Yangtze River — has come under fresh scrutiny.
“One of the major justifications for the Three Gorges Dam was flood control, but less than 20 years after its completion we have the highest floodwater in recorded history,” said David Shankman, a geographer with the University of Alabama who studies Chinese floods.
The People’s Daily newspaper said earlier this week that 1.5 million people have already evacuated from flood-prone regions.
Vice Minister of Emergency Management Zheng Guoguan told reporters Monday some regions around the Yangtze river have recorded the highest rainfall in over a half-century.
Thanks to Bill Sellers for these links