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China may witness heavy floods this year

Beijing, June 3 - China's national flood and drought prevention office has warned of heavy floods occurring this year in the country following increased rainfall.

According to the office of the state flood control and drought relief headquarters, floods may cause greater damage this year.

It also said the possibility of massive floods of the country's rivers could not be ruled out, reported Xinhua.

In 1998, massive flooding in parts of the Yangtze river had killed 4,150 people.

Floods have occurred along several tributaries of the Yangtze river, China's longest river, on a dangerous scale during the current flood season, the report said, quoting Wu Daoxi, an official in charge of the Yangtze river flood and drought prevention office.

Water levels on the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze are one to three metres higher than the historical average, Wu said.

The Yangtze river valley was last hit by massive floods in 1998. The chance for large-scale flooding is significantly higher now, the official added.

Heavy floods are also likely to occur along the Huaihe river, a major waterway in central China, the report quoted Zhang Jiatuan, deputy head of the state flood and drought prevention office as saying.

The report said precipitation levels are likely to increase by over 20 to 50 percent above normal levels near the northeastern end of the Huaihe river and the Yellow river valley this summer.

The Pearl River, China's third-longest river, will probably see regional floods or droughts in its valley this year due to the unbalanced distribution of rainfall, said an official of the Pearl river water resources commission

Authorities have discharged some water from mid- and large-sized reservoirs along the Yangtze River, including the Three Gorges Reservoir, to prepare them for storing floodwaters, according to the report.



-IANS


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