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Flood crest arrives at Dongting Lake

07-23-2010 19:24 BJT Special Report:China Fights Worst Flood in Decades |

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The high water crest on the Yangtze River has now reached Dongting Lake, but thanks to the Three Gorges Dam there is little danger of widespread flooding.

The dam, upstream from Yichang in Hubei province, withstood its biggest flood-control test and ensured the safety of regions downstream.

Dongting Lake has now reached 32.9 meters. But unlike the situation more than a decade ago, flood control afforded by the Three Gorges Dam means the danger level is low.

Dongting lake is China's second largest fresh water lake. It plays a crucial role in storing water and discharging the flood waters from branches of the Yangtze River.

Cheng Jian Xiang, Deputy Director of Water Resources Monitoring Team, said, "If the Three Gorges Dam hadn't controlled the discharge, the water level in Dongting Lake would have risen to 34 meters."

The yellow ribbon marks 34 meters. The level of the lake has been reduced by one meter after the Three Gorges Dam was able to contain the flood surge.

The dam handled an inflow of 70-thousand cubic meters per second and discharged 40-thousand cubic meters.

The river's volume this year was 20-thousand cubic meters greater than during the catastrophic Yangtze floods of 1998. At that time, four-thousand-one-hundred-and-50 people died and 18 million were evacuated.

Chen Fei, Chief Manager, Three Gorges Corporation, said, "The major task of the dam is to hold back floods. The gigantic project is designed to hold 22 billion cubic meters of water, with a huge capacity for storing floodwater. There is no reason to question the dam's capability for controlling the flooding amid the peak flow, because its primary goal of flood control is absolutely achievable."

Rainstorms have soaked central and southern parts of China and continue to lash the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River.

Since the completion of the project in 2009, the Three Gorges Dam has proven effective in controlling flooding.

 


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