CHANGSHA (Hunan) • Heavy rainfall has caused flooding along several tributaries at the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze, China's longest river, according to the Yangtze flood control and drought relief headquarters.
The Xiangjiang, Zishui and Yuanjiang rivers have risen, some above their warning levels, said the Yangtze River Water Resources Commission. yesterday
The water level of Dongting lake in the middle of the Yangtze has surpassed the warning level of 32.5m at the Chenglingji hydrological station, and is still rising, according to the Hunan provincial hydrological bureau.
The Yangtze River flood control headquarters launched a Grade II response, the second highest, last Friday night to deal with the severe flood situation.
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The flooding is likely to get worse as more rain has been forecast for the next two days.
Devastating floods along the Yangtze in 1998 killed thousands of people. In recent years, summer floods have become an annual problem, exacerbated by urban sprawl and poor drainage infrastructure in many Chinese cities.
Since June 22, more than 260,000 people have been displaced after continuous heavy rain lashed Hunan province, said the provincial flood control office last Friday. Stretches of highways were inundated and power supply facilities damaged.
Downpours and floods have also hit other parts of China since the middle of last month. Several provinces, including Guangdong, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi, have seen water levels of 175 rivers rising beyond their warning levels. The levels in at least five rivers hit record highs.
About 440,000 people in Jiangxi province have been forced to relocate. Last month, at least 73 people went missing and 10 were confirmed to have been killed after a landslide, triggered by heavy rains, engulfed a village in the province of Sichuan.