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Recent downpours, and melting snow, have triggered serious flooding along the Golmud River basin in Northwest China's Qinghai Province.
A large reservoir is in danger of overflowing, and threatening the safety of Golmud City.
Wenquan Reservoir is filled by a tributary of the Golmud River. It's usually used for agricultural irrigation purposes. But now, it is the last line of defense to prevent Golmud City from being flooded.
On Thursday evening, the reservoir was reported to be at a dangerously high level, only about 3 meters from the dam's top. Several leaks have been found.
The floodgate is about 120 kilometers from Golmud city. If it collapses, the city of more than 200-thousand, could be submerged under 4 meters of water. The city's power and water plants and the Qinghai-Tibet railway are also at risk.
But, the local government is acting fast. More than 5-thousand soldiers were dispatched to reinforce the dam and patrol the embankment, to protect residents and the city.
Golmud's economic development zone occupies the highest area of the city. It is now serving as the temporary home for tens of thousands of residents from neighboring counties.
"You're safe now. The tents are almost ready."
Han Mingcheng, Official, Golmud City, said, "The PLA soldiers, together with our residents, have set up 235 tents. But it is still far less from the quantity we need."
Night time temperatures in Golmud can drop to as low as ten degrees Celsius. Tents, quilts and mattresses are urgently needed.
As of Thursday, floods have killed 25 people and left another three missing in the province. More than 40-thousand people in 22 counties had been affected.