Yangtze River flow set to exceed level of catastrophic 1998 floods   2010-07-19 15:28:49 FeedbackPrintRSS

 Flood waters are sluiced at the Three Gorges Dam in Yichang, central China's Hubei Province, July 19, 2010. The water influx into the Three Gorges Reservoir reached 58,000 steres per second on Monday morning, setting a new record in this year's flood season. Engineers will raise the rate of water outflux to 40,000 steres per second from 10 a.m. on Monday to face the biggest flood peak since the dam was established. (Xinhua/Zheng Jiayu)

WUHAN, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The Three Gorges Dam project on the Yangtze River will face its first major flood-control test yet Tuesday as the flow on the river's upper reaches nears 70,000 cubic meters a second -- 20,000 cubic meters more than the flow during the 1998 floods that killed 4,150 people.

Flood waters will peak at 70,000 cubic meters per second at the Three Gorges Dam 8 a.m. Tuesday while the historical record stood at 70,800 cubic meters per second in 1981, said the spokesman of China Three Gorges Corporation Monday afternoon.

As of 2 p.m. the waters had reached 66,500 cubic meters per second, the spokesman said.

After continuous rains, the flow on the upper Three Gorges stretch has more than doubled from Sunday's 30,000 cubic meters a second and is expected to reach 69,000 cubic meters a second on Monday or Tuesday, the highest level since the project became operational in 2009, said an official of the company

As of 8 a.m. Monday, the flood peak had reached 58,000 cubic meters a second in the upper Three Gorges, compared with 50,000 cubic meters a second during the 1998 floods, the official said.

The discharge of the Three Gorges Dam was raised to 40,000 cubic meters a second at 10 a.m. and would remain at that level till 3 p.m., when the situation would be reviewed, the official said.

Flooding had been infrequent since 1998 and the flood control work would be intense, said an emergency notice from the Bureau of Hydrographic, Yangtze River Water Resources Commission, on Monday.

Heavy rains had increased the volumes of the Yangtze's mainstream and branches, especially the upper Jialing and Mintuo rivers, said the notice.

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Editor: Lu Hui
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