Heavy rain could threaten more than 30,000 unsafe reservoirs in China: minister

08:38, May 07, 2010      

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Above average rainfall predicted for the flood season this year could severely threaten China's reservoirs, particularly dilapidated ones, Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei said in Beijing Thursday.

Chen, who is also deputy director of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, made the warning during a nationwide video conference on flood control of Chinese reservoirs.

This year greater rainfall than normal is expected in more places such as the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Huaihe River basin and the southern parts of North China region, Chen said.

More tropical cyclones are likely to hit China this year and bring more rainfall to regions north of the Yangtze River, he said.

This year's weather could well be extreme "which poses a real threat to the safety of reservoirs, particularly those that are rundown." Chen said.

Though China has sought to make reservoirs safe in recent years, more than 30,000 reservoirs across the country are still considered fragile.

The country has more than 85,000 reservoirs.

Chen said torrential rains could easily cause reservoirs in the earthquake-hit Sichuan and Qinghai provinces and the drought-hit areas in southwest China to become dangerous.



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