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Saturday, August 1, 2020

devastating floods in China !

Life was far better when we had only one channel [DD] – one Tamil News and one in English, a few newspapers and magazines.  Saturday Sports Special was most sought after by Cricket fans and odd photo of a Serial action like Madan Lal bowling action was a cherished one for ages ! Now you get to hear so much – on Covid, the remedies and how to tackle, yet remain flustered !

A once in a generation pandemic, a once in a generation flood ! ? !. Parts of China are literally up to their eyeballs in water, in what the Chinese government is calling a once in 100 years flood. The Three Gorges Dam, built to stop these things, is now in the spotlight. Cities in the country's central region along the Yangtze River — China's longest river — have been flooded in the past week due to heavy rains this monsoon season. It was reported to be the worst flood since 1998, and not 100 years as some in Beijing have said.

pic credit : the guardian 

Authorities in central China blasted a dam to release surging waters behind it amid widespread flooding that has claimed scores of lives. The dam on the Chu river in Anhui province – a tributary of the Yangtze river – was destroyed with explosives on Sunday morning, state broadcaster CCTV reported, after which the water level was expected to drop by 70cm (2ft). The water released was being channelled into two storage ponds on a flood plain that can hold more than 60m cubic metres (2.1bn cubic ft) of water. Water levels on many rivers have been unusually high this year because of torrential rains. Blasting dams and embankments to discharge water was an extreme response employed during China’s worst floods in recent years in 1998, when more than 2,000 people died and almost 3m homes were destroyed.  Last week, the gargantuan Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze opened three floodgates after the water level rose more than 15 metres (50ft) above flood level. Another flood crest is expected to arrive at the dam on Tuesday.

The Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric gravity dam that spans the Yangtze River by the town of Sandouping, in Yiling District, Yichang, Hubei province, China. The Three Gorges Dam has been the world's largest power station in terms of installed capacity (22,500 MW) since 2012. In 2018, the dam generated 101.6 terawatt-hours (TWh), breaking its previous record,  but was still slightly lower than the Itaipú Dam, which had set the world record in 2016 after producing 103.1 TWh.  As well as producing electricity, the dam is intended to increase the Yangtze River's shipping capacity. By providing flood storage space, the dam reduces the potential for floods downstream which could possibly affect millions. China regards the project as a monumental social and economical success, but the dam has been controversial, to call the least.

Floods have severely impacted large tracts of southern China since June due to heavy rains caused by the regional rainy season, primarily around the Yangtze basin and its tributaries, with rains expected to hit central and eastern China during July, described as the worst since at least 1998, if not a century.

According to the Ministry of Emergency Management, by the end of June flooding had displaced 744,000 people across 26 provinces with 81 people missing or dead. In early July, the South China Morning Post reported that about 20 million residents had been affected and at least 121 people were dead or missing. As of 13 July, floods had affected 37.89 million people in 27 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, 141 people are dead or missing, and 28,000 houses have collapsed. The Ministry of Water Resources said that a total of 443 rivers nationwide have been flooded, with 33 of them swelling to the highest levels ever recorded. Affected regions included Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, Hubei, as well as Chongqing.  The regions include the upper and middle river basin of the Yangtze and its tributaries.

Elsewhere, soldiers and workers have been testing the strength of embankments and shoring them up with sandbags and rocks. On Saturday, firefighters and others finished filling in a 188-metre (620ft) break on Poyang Lake, China’s largest freshwater lake, that had caused widespread flooding across 15 villages and agricultural fields in Jiangxi province. More than 14,000 people were evacuated. Seasonal flooding strikes large parts of China annually, especially in its central and southern regions, but has been especially severe this summer. More than 150 people have died or are missing in flooding and landslides brought on by the torrential rains – 23 of them since Thursday alone.

Major cities have been spared so far, but concern has risen over Wuhan and other downstream metropolises that are home to tens of millions of people. All this at a time, when the World and China too is grappling the ill-effects of Covid 19 that emanated from Wuhan, China

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you visited China during the flood times. Very detailed account and a good one. But your point on ' One TV channel" is perfect one. Rest all are ' shouting matches' and Virus related end ng up with spreading fear than strength.