BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Chinese Vietnamese Burmese Thai Indonesian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Asia-Pacific  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 27 August, 2002, 06:09 GMT 07:09 UK
Chinese flood fears ease
Man in boat passes submerged house
Heavily-populated areas have been hit
Officials along central China's swollen Yangtze river remained on flood alert on Tuesday, but a flood crest passed by the large industrial town of Wuhan without incident.

Wuhan had been braced for flooding after thunderstorms brought torrential rains to the area around China's Lake Dongting, just as the battle to contain floodwaters there appeared to be won.

Enlarge image
Enlarge image

Areas at risk of flooding
But the Wuhan Morning Post said on Tuesday that no danger spots had emerged, thanks in part to flood controls put in place after flooding in 1998 killed 4,000 people across the country.

This year the death toll from floods and landslides is close to 1,000.

But as Lake Dongting's water levels continued to fall on Tuesday, China's official media expressed hopes the worst was now over.

Wang Shucheng, minister of water resources, was quoted by the China Daily as saying no major breaches had occurred along the main levees of the Yangtze, even though the river has been hit by flood crests along its middle reaches.

The minister said that six flood peaks had passed through Hunan province and caused no major damage.

But officials continued to monitor the situation, especially because of the continued risk of flash-flooding.

On Monday, 59 millimetres of rain fell in 90 minutes around Yueyang, a city of 600,000 on Lake Dongting.

The heavy shower did not raise the level of the lake, monitors said, but danger remained.

Woman walks along dyke in Hunan
The dykes have been swamped for days
"But if it goes on raining like this, the water level could start rising again," one monitor said.

Downstream from Wuhan, the city of Jiujiang, which sits on the river, is already on flood alert.

China's official Xinhua news agency said 24-hour patrols were monitoring embankments and 40,000 civilians ands troops were poised to fight any breaches.

The controversial Three Gorges Dam now under construction is meant to bring the Yangtze under control, but that will not be finished until 2009.

According to environmentalists, the repeated floods in the Yangtze region are partly the result of China's degraded environment.

See also:

24 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
21 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
22 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
06 Aug 02 | Country profiles
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes