China's second-largest freshwater lake expands

(Xinhua) 09:50, April 13, 2024

This photo taken on Dec. 14, 2022 shows migratory birds at Hengling Lake Provincial Nature Reserve, a part of Dongting Lake wetland, central China's Hunan Province. (Xinhua/Zhao Zhongzhi)

CHANGSHA, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The latest monitoring data revealed a significant expansion of the Dongting Lake, China's second-largest freshwater lake located in Hunan Province, with its surface area increasing by approximately 80 percent since the beginning of this month.

The lake's surface area reached about 950 square km, expanding by 420 square km since April 1, according to the latest monitoring data as of 8 a.m. on Friday.

The province's Dongting Lake water conversancy affairs center said on Friday that the half-year-long dry season had come to an end with increased precipitation across the region since the flood season started in April.

The water level at the lake's landmark Chenglingji hydrological station rebounded to 25.78 meters as of 8 a.m. on Friday, 3.63 meters higher compared to last year's readings during the same period.

Between 2022 and 2023, the Dongting Lake experienced low water levels due to factors such as dry weather and insufficient upstream water inflow. Several hydrological stations recorded their lowest water levels on record during this period, affecting production and people's daily life in the surrounding areas.

During the 2023 flood season, water levels of the Dongting Lake showed some recovery. However, starting from Oct. 17, 2023, it once again entered a period of low water levels.

Statistics from the provincial meteorological and hydrological departments showed that, as of 8 a.m. on Friday, the accumulated precipitation in Hunan since the beginning of this year reached 392.9 mm, a 15.4 percent increase compared to the same period in previous years.

Since the onset of the flood season, the accumulated precipitation has reached 111.5 mm, which is 83.4 percent above the average for the same period in previous years.

The rise in water level of the lake also shows potential higher flood pressure this year, according to the provincial meteorological and hydrological authorities. 

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Sheng Chuyi)


Related Stories