Thursday, May 12, 2011

China closes stretch of Yangtze due to drought

Reuters: Part of China's Yangtze River has been closed to shipping because of a drought, the China Daily newspaper reported on Thursday, citing the body that manages shipping on the river. Authorities in Hubei province have closed the middle reaches of the river because of low water levels between the city of Wuhan and Chenglingji in Yueyang city, it said.

The shallow water conditions will continue to impede traffic until June, despite heavy rain that is expected this month and the partial opening of sluice gates in the Three Gorges Dam, the paper cited an official from the local waterway bureau as saying. The water level is at its lowest since the dam went into operation in 2003, and the width of the river had shrunk by 50 metres since last year to about 150 metres on average, he said.

The depth of the water at the dam had fallen to 154.76 metres on Monday, below the 155 m mark where power generation begins to become more difficult, the paper said, citing official statistics...

A barge on the Yangtze, shot by Ray_from_LA, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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