Alert in Poyang Lake and nearby rivers upgraded to the highest as dike bursts
China raised its emergency response level for flood control along the Yangtze River as days of torrential rain triggered flood warnings across the country, and water levels in the middle and lower reaches of the river have been rising.
At 2 pm Friday, Changjiang Water Resources Commission under the Ministry of Water Resources raised the emergency response level for flood control along the Yangtze River to the second highest following the incessant downpours.
It also upgraded the flood alert in Poyang Lake and nearby rivers from orange to red－the highest in the country's four-tier color-coded weather warning system.
Zhongzhouwei dike of Poyang county burst its banks and more than 8,000 people have been evacuated to safer areas, according to the Bureau of Emergency Management of Jiangxi province.
On Thursday, the water level at the dike reached 23.39 meters, 3.89 meters above the warning level, and in nearby Guxiandu town the level was 23.43 meters, 0.25 meter higher than the record in 1998, when the country suffered a catastrophic flood.
Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province, the largest freshwater lake in China and a major river basin of the Yangtze River, is historically a region of significant floods.
As the rainy season continues, southern parts of China have suffered long-lasting, wide-ranging rains. Some areas had only brief relief from sustained rainfall, according to the National Meteorological Center.
Affected by the heavy rain, water levels in many stations in middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River have been rising rapidly, according to the commission.
"The water levels at the Qilishan observation station in Dongting Lake and Poyang Lake's entrance have exceeded the warning levels," said a notice released by the commission on Friday.
It estimated that water levels at some stations along the Yangtze River will continue to increase by 0.5 to 1.0 meter in the next few days.
As of Thursday afternoon, 140 people were killed or reported missing in China due to the floods, which afflicted more than 30 million people around the country, the Ministry of Emergency Management revealed on Friday.
Together with other departments, the ministry has drafted emergency plans for disaster control and improved the alert system at all levels.
Detailed plans for transfer of affected people and allocation of related materials have also been made, according to the ministry.
As of 2 pm Thursday, more than 1.7 million people in 27企业营业执照四件套
It estimated that the floods this summer have resulted into a total economic loss of more than 61.8 billion yuan ($8.8 billion).