Anhui dam blown up to release floodwaters
Authorities in central China blasted a dam on Sunday to release surging waters amid widespread flooding across the country that has claimed scores of lives.
Broadcaster CCTV reported the dam on the Chuhe River in Anhui Province was destroyed with explosives early Sunday, after which the water level was expected to drop by 70 centimeters.
Water levels on many rivers, including the mighty Yangtze, have been unusually high this year because of torrential rains.
Last week, the gargantuan Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze opened three floodgates as the water level behind the massive dam rose more than 15 meters above flood level. Another flood crest is expected to arrive at the dam tomorrow.
China on Sunday raised the flood alert level in the Huaihe River region in the country’s east to Level II from Level III, the second highest on its four-tier scale.
Ten reservoirs on the Huaihe River have seen water levels exceeding warning levels by as much as 6.85 meters, according to the Huaihe River Commission of China’s Ministry of Water Resources.
“Floods are occurring at the same time at the Yangtze River, Huaihe River and Taihu Lake ... The flood prevention situation is very severe,” the water resources ministry said.
Seasonal flooding strikes large parts of China annually, especially in its central and southern regions, but has been especially severe this summer.
About 2 million people have been evacuated and direct losses attributed to flooding are estimated at more than 64 billion yuan ($9 billion), according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.