As the Heilongjiang river records its biggest flood in over a century, another major river in the region, the Songhuajiang, has seen its flood peak reach Harbin, the provincial capital of Heilongjiang province.
As the flood peak passed through Harbin Tuesday morning, it recorded the highest water level on this section of the Songhuajiang river in 15 years. At almost 120 meters, the water level is 1.39 meters above the warning line. Local flood fighting personnel stand ready to help.
“Harbin is battling a high water situation. So far we have discovered 273 risks and dealt with 268 of them. ”said Sun Xianchen, deputy commander of Harbin Floof Prevention Command.
According to the flood control authorities, the 500-kilometer-long river banks around Harbin are mostly made of mud and sand, making them more susceptible to flood breaches. With the flood peak estimated to last for 10 days on this section of the river, the city has put together an 18,000 strong flood fighting force.
"This flood peak will last longer than that of the 1998 floods. River banks will be easier to breach after being submerged in water. Harbin faces challenges both up and down stream on the river."said Sun.
Meanwhile, another major river in the province, the Heilongjiang, is recording the biggest flood hitting parts of it in a century.
The latest aerial views show that villages and farmland in this section near Tongjiang city are covered by up to 2 meters of water. Thousands of flood fighting personnel are reinforcing water banks with sandbags.
Heixiazi Island, which straddles the China- Russia border, is now completely submerged. Its Wusu Bridge, the only route between the island and the Chinese mainland, is badly damaged. Temporary residents on the island have been evacuated.
Local authorities say the flood peak is now moving toward the confluence of the Heilongjiang, Songhuajiang and Nenjiang Rivers, a trend that could wreak more havoc along its path.