Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, July 11, 2003

New Rains Put China's River Valleys on Flood Alert

China's Huaihe and Songhua river valleys, as well as the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River, are on high flood alert after heavy rains were forecast forthe next few days.


China's Huaihe and Songhua river valleys, as well as the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River, are on high flood alert after heavy rains were forecast forthe next few days.

The Yellow River is also on flood alert as the precipitation zone is moving northward, according to the forecast by the CentralMeteorological Station (CMS) on Thursday morning.

Statistics show that the heavy rain belt was mainly formed on an east-west line along the Huaihe River valley, the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, and the northern part of southwest China's Guizhou Province from 8:00 a.m. Wednesday to 8:00 a.m. Thursday.

The average daily precipitation in these areas had reached 30 to 90 millimeters with some regions recording up to 180 millimeters. Meanwhile, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province also suffered heavy rains with 76 millimeters per day, according to the statistics.

CMS vice-director Bi Baogui pointed out that heavy precipitation over the Huaihe River valley would continue until Saturday, and east China's Anhui and Jiangsu Provinces would see torrential rains accompanied by thunderstorms, hurricanes or hail.

In the next two to three days, the Sichuan Basin, Guizhou and Hunan Provinces, and the Hanshui River valley would also have heavy to torrential rain, which could threaten the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River, Bi said.

"Fortunately, the Yangtze's lower reaches will remain sunny. Most areas south of the Yangtze and in south China will maintain high temperatures from 35 to 38 degrees Celsius in the short-term,which will temporarily remove the flood danger from the lower reaches of Yangtze and the Zhujiang River valley," Bi said.

Continuous rains are also forecast for north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the northeastern Heilongjiang and Jilin Provinces on Thursday and Friday, which will accelerate the rise in water levels and flow volumes of the Songhua River.

The CMS predicted the major precipitation zone will move northward to areas between the Yellow and Huaihe Rivers and to thesouthern region of north China on Saturday and Sunday, when Jiangsu, Anhui, Shandong, Henan, Hebei, Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces could expect heavy to torrential rains.

From the end of June to the beginning of July, the cold and warm air flows which usually converge over the Huaihe River valleyas a subtropical high pressure zone remained in areas south of theYangtze, causing the worst floods in Huaihe in ten years intensified by the water vapor conveyed from the Bay of Bengal, Bisaid.

"At the same time in previous years, the rainfall zone had already shifted to areas between the Yellow and Huaihe Rivers. However, it's worth noting that the Yellow River will face greaterflood control pressure with the northward move of the precipitation zone," Bi said.

He also predicted constant rains in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the next three to four days.

"Despite a comparatively small precipitation, the rains are likely to cause floods due to the local particular geological structures and earth surface," He said.

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