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Water level drops at Jiujiang section

07-22-2010 10:32 BJT Special Report:Rainstorm Batters Large Parts of China |

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There's some good news at the Jiujiang section of the Yangtze River in east China's Jiangxi Province. The water level there has dropped over recent days, but still remains above the warning line. Meanwhile, rescue teams have been forced to battle other severe weather after encountering a fatal lightning storm.

The Jiujiang section of the Yangtze River has been steadily dropping four to five centimeters daily. On Tuesday morning, the river's level was a little over 20.5 meters, still half a meter above the warning line.

But the lower water level may only be temporary.

Further flooding is predicted to hit the Yangtze's upper reaches, which could trigger the Jiujiang section to surge again.

The local flood-control department is preparing for a long-term battle against the flood.

Tong Qingyuan, Deputy Director, Flood Control Department, said, "For the time being, the flood-control situation in Jiujiang is relatively stable. The water level is dropping. But we're prepared for a long-term battle, as the level will remain above the warning mark for some time. Our main task now is to prevent destruction and ensure the safety of dykes during the receding flood period."

The biggest challenge facing rescue workers now is not the flood, but storms and predicted hot weather.

On Wednesday afternoon, an unexpected storm raged over the Jiujiang Dam. More than a dozen rescue workers were struck by lightning, two of them fatally.

Wang Rujun, Deputy Head, Jiujiang Rescue Team, said, "We had 60 workers dealing with a landslide there. At first, everything was fine. Then at around 4pm, a storm rolled in. We immediately ran for cover, but 17 of our workers were struck by lightning."

But the storm hasn't prevented warmer weather closing in on the region.

Over the next week, temperatures at Jiujiang are forecast to hit 36 degrees Celsius, posing more challenges for rescue teams working outdoors.

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.cn

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