May 20th, 2011 | People's Daily Yangtze River levels hit historic lows in some areas
According to the data from the Yangtze River Hydrometric Station, the water levels of the Yangtze River have declined abnormally during the main flood period. Some hydrometric stations on the middle and lower reaches saw historic low water levels.
The dwindling water levels in the Yangtze River affected agricultural irrigation, hydropower station operation and merchant shipping. It is forecasted that there will be rains in the next five days, easing the drought and raising the water levels.
Yangtze River is a seasonal river, the water fluctuation of which depends on changes in rainfall, melting snow and underground water. Usually, as the main flood arrives in May, the Yangtze River will be full of water. This year, however, the water levels of the middle and lower reaches have been declining.
“A major factor causing the current drought is that the Yangtze River basin has been short of rainfall for a long time,” said Wang Yongguang, chief forecaster of the National Climate Center.
In the recent period from Jan. 1 to May 18, the average amount of rainfall in Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai Provinces (City) was only 242 millimeters, hitting a historic record low over the past 60 years.
By Zheng Qingting