Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The weekend’s torrential rains are threatening Three Gorges Dam on the Yagntze river. The Chinese government today announced that the waters upstream of the dam will reach the maximum level in the next 24 hours and for the past two days the authorities have been pumping as much water as possible from the basin ahead of the flood. According to experts, even stronger rains will hit southern China in the coming days.
Meanwhile, thousands of soldiers have been deployed in flooded areas to bring relief to the population and shore up the river banks at risk with sand and stones. This month in the region of Shaanxi alone, over 700 thousand people were evacuated to security zones. In Sichuan, 21 people are currently missing due to a landslide that swept some villages in the district of Hanyuan overnight. Also today, in Henan a flooded river toppled a bridge, killing at least 37 people. In the region of Luanchan in three days the rains have left 52 dead and 21 missing while more than 200 thousand people have been evacuated.
Over the weekend Premier Wen Jiabao visited the flooded areas in the provinces of Hubei and Anhui, where he declared a state of emergency and urged local officials to prepare for torrential rains forecast in the coming days.
According to the Chinese government since the beginning of the rains more than 1250 people have died or are missing. To date, the damages amounted to over 14 billion Euros.