July 24th, 2012 | Global Times Three Gorges braces for annual flood peak
The Three Gorges Dam will experience its largest flood peak this year on Tuesday, as torrential rains hit several parts of the country, causing major casualties as well as economic losses.
The dam will experience water flow rates as high as 70,000 cubic meters per second at 8 pm Tuesday, the Yangtze River flood control and drought relief headquarters said Monday.
The flow rate will be the same as that of a July 2010 flood peak that marked the highest peak experienced by the dam since it began operation.
Heavy rains since Friday have resulted in 95 deaths and 45 missing across 17 provincial regions as of 12pm Monday, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
A total of 6.23 million people have been affected by the rainstorms, and some 560,000 people have been evacuated, according to the rough statistics from the ministry.
Heavy rains have been pouring over Southwest China’s Sichuan Basin and North China in recent days, with some areas including Beijing, Tianjin, northern Hebei and northern Shanxi seeing regional torrential downpours, which also led to natural disasters such as flooding, mudslides and landslides in these areas.
The Ministry of Finance said Sunday that 120 million yuan ($19 million) has been allocated to help the three key areas including Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province battle against torrential rains and floods. The funds will be devoted to repairing flooddamaged water conservancy facilities as well as supporting flood control in these areas, the MOF said in a statement posted on its website.
Various natural calamities including hailstorms, floods, landslides and mudslides have impacted a total of 110 million people across the country this year, leaving 680 people dead and 137 missing, the civil affairs ministry also said.
The China Meteorological Administration also announced on Monday that it was upgrading the alert in the nation’s emergency response plan to the highest level as typhoon Vincente is forecast to land in coastal regions between late Monday and Tuesday noon. Vincente is likely to be the strongest typhoon this year, according to the administration, which also predicted that the upcoming typhoon would bring heavy rainstorms to South China.
“There might be more frequent extreme weather in coming years as a result of global climate change, but the recent rainstorms could not be regarded as abnormal weather but rather heavier precipitation amid a regular rainy season,” also said Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs.
By Li Qiaoyi