Yangtze city at center of China's latest flood battle (2)

14:53, July 28, 2010      

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A flood peak is expected to arrive at Xiantao late Wednesday, sooner than previous estimates.

If the water were not diverted, dikes guarding two of the three major districts in Wuhan and nearby Hanchuan City might be breached, local water resources officials said.

The Flood Control Headquarters of Wuhan has raised the alert level to the second highest level, triggering the mobilization of emergency workers and the military. The highest level signals the closures of schools and factories and the mobilization of millions of the city's adult residents to join the flood prevention efforts.

But officials were confident that the worst scenario could be avoided as flood control systems, including the Three Gorges Dam, were working well and no major rains are forecast in the near future.

In Yichang City, the Three Gorges Dam experienced the highest water flow of the year -- about 56,000 cubic meters per second.

The dam withstood the flow with a discharge rate of 40,000 cubic meters per second, accumulating 16,000 cubic meters of water per second in the reservoir.

The water level in the reservoir had risen to 158 meters at 8 a.m. Wednesday, about 17 meters below its maximum of 175 meters.


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