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Posts Tagged ‘Yangtze river’

Global Disasters/ Significant Events – June 7, 2015

Posted by feww on June 7, 2015

Saudi-led airstrikes kill 44, leave many wounded in Sanaa, Yemen

Airstrikes by Saudi Arabia and partners on the Yemeni army headquarters—controlled by Houthi fighters—in the capital, Sanaa, has killed at least 44 people including 20 civilians, and wounded at least 100 others, capital of Sanaa on Sunday, the official Saba news agency reported.

Weeks of conflict have killed at least 2,000 people, with many others wounded and tens of thousands displaced.

5 fatalities from MERS in South Korea, 64 cases reported

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has claimed another life in South Korea, with 14 additional cases reported.
The death toll was five, as of posting, and the total number of reported infections had climbed to 64.

Meantime, the authorities have closed 24 hospitals where MERS cases had spread, and quarantined at least 1,600 people including the medical staff from those hospitals which may have come in contact with the infected patients.

Eastern Star disaster: More bodies recovered from Yangtze River

At least 431 people are now confirmed dead after the Chinese cruise ship Eastern Star capsized on Yangtze River, last week. Fourteen people reportedly survived the disaster, and 11 others are still missing.

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South China on Alert for Extreme Rain Events

Posted by feww on June 3, 2015

Extreme Rain Events Wreak Havoc across China

Alerts have been issued for rainstorms in south China, said China’s National Meteorological Center (NMC), reported the official news agency Xinhua.

Extreme rain events are forecast for parts of Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Anhui, Hubei, Hunan and Guizhou provinces, and Shanghai from Tuesday night to Wednesday, the NMC forecast.

The forecasters have also warned of possible thunderstorms and gales in the alert areas.

Meantime, torrential rains have killed at least 16 people [and affected very large number of others] since last week, said the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA).

[The toll does not include the presumed casualties from the cruise ship disaster on Yangtze River. Editor]

“The ministry said on May 25 to 27 and 28 to 31, two heavy rainfalls occurred in the southern part of China, leading to casualties in Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan and other provincial regions.”

The extreme rain events have triggered multiple disasters including floods, landslides and mudslides leaving three people missing, the report said.

Extreme rain events over May 29-30 of May, combined with strong wind and large hail, hit parts of Northwest and North China, affecting almost 420,000 people, said the MCA.

Record Rainfall

Rainstorms have been pounding large parts of south China since May 4, breaking a 40-year rainfall record, said NMC.

[Between May 4 and 23] south China received about 200mm of rain, some 74 percent higher than the long-term average, said NMC.

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – June 2, 2015

Posted by feww on June 2, 2015

Hundreds missing as Chinese ship capsizes on Yangtze

A cruise ship carrying 458 people capsized on Jianli section of the Yangtze River in central China’s Hubei Province, teh official Xinuhua reported

The ship named Dongfangzhixing, or Eastern Star, sank after being caught in a cyclone, said the report.

“Carrying 406 passengers, five travel agency workers and 47 crew members, the ship was heading from Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, for southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality.”

Officials say at least 15 people survived the disaster, including the captain and the chief engineer. Some of the survivors were found inside the ship’s submerged hull.

MERS deaths stokes fear in South Korea

An outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea has infected at least 24 people, killing two of the victims and stoking fear among Seoul residents.

MERS in China

China’s first confirmed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) patient is currently quarantined in Guangdong province, which borders Hong Kong, said reports.

“A man from the Republic of Korea (ROK) tested positive for MERS in Guangdong last Friday. He is being treated at Huizhou Municipal Central Hospital and is still feverish,” health officials said, Xinhua reported.

Reported Cases Worldwide

About 1,200 cases of the virus have been reported worldwide with at least 481 fatalities, said the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

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China’s Largest Freshwater Lake Reduced by 1/3 in 3 Days: Report

Posted by feww on October 22, 2014

MAIN SCENARIOS 900, 800, 699, 444, 200, 111, 101, 100, 090, 03, 02, 01

Poyang lake water level falling by 30 cm per day

“China’s largest freshwater lake, Poyang, has shrunk by one third in the past three days due to reduced water supply from the Yangtze River and little rainfall,” reported the official Xinhua news agency.

The lake’s surface area was reduced from 2,169 km² on Monday to 1,490 km² Wednesday (October 22) , a reduction of 679 km², reported the Jiangxi Provincial Hydrological Bureau.

“The water level at Xingzi hydrological station was 11.99 meters at 4 p.m. Wednesday, 2.13 meters lower than the levels in normal years. The water level is falling by 30 cm per day.”

Limited water flow from the upper Yangtze River, due to the water being diverted to hydroelectric dams, and lack of rainfall in the province were two major causes for the loss, said the bureau.

Jiangxi Province has received an average precipitation of less than 5 mm since September 20, said the report.

“The sharp fall of water levels in the lake will affect shipping and fishing as well as the water supply for nearby residents.”

From 3500 km² to just 200 km²

The average area of the lake is about 3,500 in normal years. However, it shrank to about 200 due to drought and the practice of diverting water to the Three Gorges Dam in 2012.

“Every year, when the Three Gorges reservoir stores water – to power the dam’s turbines during the winter – the flow rate in the Yangtze drops. This in turn increases the rate at which the level of Poyang lake falls, and the period of low water comes sooner,” said Ye Xuchun, a researcher at China’s Southwest University.

“The incomes in fishing villages are dropping as fast as the water in the lake. Some residents will have move on to other trades,” said Xu Bin, the author of a thesis on the socio-economic consequences of the lake’s environmental disorders. He said: “The soil of China is dry, so the Yangtze is vital. Poyang is one of the key elements and its current predicament is a warning for the future.”

Habitat for 236 Species of Birds

Poyang Lake is a vital habitat for at least 236 species of birds including various endangered species, such as oriental white stork and white crane, and more than 100 species of wintering migrants, including Siberian cranes, according to a recent survey.


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China City Water Supply Suspened after Pollution in Yangtze

Posted by feww on May 9, 2014


Up to a million people affected in China’s latest water pollution scare

Authorities suspend water supply in  east China’s Jingjiang City (Jiangsu Province) on Friday after “abnormal water quality” was detected in the Yangtze River, reported Xinhua.

“The city’s water company detected a strange odor in the river water around 10 a.m., said a statement posted by the city’s official account on microblogging site Sina Weibo.”

The latest episode is one of a series of water pollution incidents that has caused major concern across China.

In April, excessive levels of benzene were detected in Lanzhou city’s tap water. Lanzhou (population: ~ 4 million) is the capital city of northwest China’s Gansu Province.

Original Caption:
Residents purchase bottled drinkable water at a supermarket in Jingjiang City, east China’s Jiangsu Province, May 9, 2014. Water supply in Jingjiang City was suspended after abnormal water quality was detected in the Yangtze River water source, the city’s official microblog announced in a statement around noon Friday. (Xinhua)

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Severe Drought Plagues Central China

Posted by feww on November 22, 2013

Central China is now in a state of  almost permanent drought

severe drought in china nov 2013
No end in sight for the severe drought that has plagued central China. Image credit: via Xinhua. More images…

China’s largest freshwater lake rapidly shrinking

Meantime, surface area of Poyang Lake, in China’s Jiangxi Province,  has shrunk to less than 6 percent of its original size of more than 3,500km²

An early dry season this year, which began in mid-October, has reduced the lake into shallow streams, said a report.

poyang lake
China’s largest freshwater lake, Poyang Lake, is drying up, causing a severe shortage of drinking water in the region, crippling the local fishing industry and threatening the lake’s ecology. Image credit: via Xinhua. More images…

The lake has been subject to prolonged dry seasons since the 1990s due to persistent droughts, and reduced water supplies from the Yangtze River due to hydroelectric dams.

Other contributing factors include increasing water use and damage to the lake bed.

The crisis has caused a severe shortage of drinking water, crippling the local fishing industry and threatening the lake’s ecology,  said the report.

“Meteorological data showed the province has received 60 percent less precipitation since September than the average over the same period since records began in 1952.”

Additionally, a cluster of 29 dams erected on the upper reaches of the Yangtze river, which includes the Three Gorges Dam, store a total of up to 53 billion cubic meters of water, contributing to the death of Poyang, according to China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research.

Large numbers of migrating Siberian cranes used to spend the winter on Poyang Lake.

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Fish Ecosystem on Yangtze Collapsing

Posted by feww on August 17, 2013

Yangtze River has lost 99.7% of its fish

Excessive human activity along the Yangtze River including the building of hydroelectric dams and overfishing has pushed the aquatic ecosystem to the verge of imminent collapse: Report

“The number of fish in four major species has shrunk from more than 30 billion in the 1950s to less than 100 million, and the number of breeds has been reduced from 143 to 17, according to the report released by the Yangtze River Fishery Resources Committee under the Ministry of Agriculture and the World Wide Fund for Nature,” said the report.

Landscape changes along  banks of the Chishui River
Original caption: Landscape changes since 2005 along the banks of the Chishui River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, suggest the grave effects of human activity on the ecosystem of China’s longest river. [PHOTO BY WANG LEI / FOR CHINA DAILY]

In addition to the dramatic decline  in the number of fish, several other species including the finless porpoise have already become extinct, said Zhao Yimin, head of the Yangtze River Fishery Resources Committee.

“The source species are reducing, leading to unsustainable development of aquaculture and an increasingly fragile ecosystem.” Zhao said.

Some 25 hydropower plants are being built 100 km apart along the 2,308 km on the Jinsha River, a tributary of the Yangtze,  with a total capacity four times the Three Gorges Dam, according to China’s energy development plan,

“It will cut the river into sections, and completely change the aquatic environment, bringing a devastating impact to species and water quality,” Zhao said.

The Yangtze River basin covers 19 provinces and cities, accounting for 18.8 percent of the land area in China, said the report.

Full report posted HERE.

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – August 4, 2013

Posted by feww on August 4, 2013

About 5 percent of China’s population directly affected by drought

FIRE-EARTH Models show up to 60 million people in China are affected by the persistent drought in at least 12 provinces.

Hundreds of rivers, lakes and reservoirs along the Yangtze River have dried up amid worsening drought, said the local drought relief headquarters.

“Figures released by the Hubei Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Friday showed that 900 reservoirs and 132 rivers have been affected by the drought, causing one-third of the province’s farmland to dry up.”

Widespread drought has severely affected also the provinces of Hunan and Guizhou , as well as Chongqing Municipality in the Yangtze River valley, a major rice-producing area.

drought in Hunan Province Aug 13 -s
Original caption: Villagers pump [the last drops of] water from the riverbed of a dried river to farmland in Jiangjiaping Village, Qiyang County of central China’s Hunan Province, Aug. 2, 2013. Hunan Province has been hit by the most severe drought in 10 years since July, which caused drinking water shortages for about 1.38 million local people by Aug. 1. The local authorities has taken measures to combat the drought. (Xinhua/Li Ga). More images…


China bans milk powder imports from New Zealand, Australia

China has banned imports of all milk powder from New Zealand and Australia, New Zealand’s trade minister said. The ban comes after bacteria that can cause botulism found in some dairy products, said a report.


Monsoon floods kill at least 100 people in Pakistan, Afghanistan

A vast region in Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan has again suffered devastating monsoon floods for a third consecutive year.

The floods have destroyed or damaged thousands of  homes and businesses, as well as much of the local infrastructure in both countries. Meantime, officials have warned that more rain could hit the region.

In 2010, the worst monsoon floods in Pakistan’s history left about 2,000 people dead and affected more than 21 million others.


Severe flooding displaces more than 247,000 people in southern Philippines

At least 20 towns were flooded in the southern island of Mindanao, following a week of monsoon rains, displacing about quarter of a million people, the country’s national disaster relief agency said.


Floods inundate at six towns on Myanmar-Thai border

Extreme Rain Events have flooded creeks Myanmar-Thai border inundating towns in the southeastern state of Kayin, reports said.

“Myawaddy, another town along the Myanmar-Thai border, was heavily flooded and Myawaddy-Hpa-an border trade routes were inundated,” said a report.

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Hundreds of Homes Condemned after Flooding in Orange County, N.C.

Posted by feww on July 3, 2013

State of emergency declared in Orange County amid major flood damage

Some 5.13 inches of rain Sunday inundated the county causing severe damage to hundreds of condominiums, local reports said.

Meanwhile, the rains continued Tuesday across central North Carolina, causing wastewater overflow in Chapel Hill area.

Severe weather watches and warnings were in effect for 68 N.C. counties, as of posting.


Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Dozens evacuated after flash flooding in Lebanon, N.H.

Rescue teams evacuated dozens of residents from a housing complex in Lebanon, New Hampshire Tuesday after heavy rains flooded the area, reports said.

The flooding has also caused “widespread damage” to roads and other public infrastructure.

NH governor has opened a state emergency operations center, said a report.


Alberta flood waters force Manitoba community into state of emergency

R.M. of Kelsey, home to The Pas and the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, have declared a state of emergency for the region waters continue to rise on the nearby Saskatchewan and Carrot Rivers.

The waters are expected to rise even more when flood waters from Alberta arrive later this month, said a report.

Officials expect water levels to surpass 2011 levels, when major flooding inundated Manitoba.

In June, deadly floods destroyed an entire town, forcing mass evacuations of entire communities.

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Tropical Storm Sweeps China Killing Dozens

“Heavy downpours are continuing to batter large parts of the country. Nine provinces and municipalities have been affected, including Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Anhui, Hubei, Chongqing, and Sichuan. The storm has caused 39 deaths so far and 13 are reported missing. North China and cities in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River have been hardest-hit.” Full Report.

Rainstorms continue pounding SW China

Meanwhile, rainstorms have been pounding southwest China forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.

TS Rumbia Batters S China

Tropical storm Rumbia, the sixth storm to hit china this year, landed in south China early Tuesday, bringing damaging winds and torrential rains.


Aceh Earthquake Update

Death toll from the strong quake that struck Indonesia Aceh Province  on Tuesday has climbed to 22, with at least 220 others injured. The quake has also damaged thousands of houses and business, according to official.


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Wildfires Consume 120,000 Acres in Nebraska

Posted by feww on July 25, 2012

Red Flag Warnings, Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories are in effect from Kansas and Nebraska to Indiana

Another round of triple digit temperatures affect the central Plains, as National Weather Service warns  about the extreme conditions.

Temperatures are forecast to be 10-15 degrees above average in the central Plains and the Mid-Atlantic, as three wildfires consume at least 120,000 acres in Nebraska, destroying a dozen homes.

U.S. Daily Highest Max Temperature Records set on July 24, 2012

Source: National Climatic Data Center

  • Excess Heat Warnings are in effect for all or parts of 7 states Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.
  • Heat Advisories are in effect for 14 states:  South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
  • Red Flag Warnings are in effect for parts of Montana, Nebraska and Kansas.

At least 24 high temperature records were broken and 34 tied in a dozen states Monday: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin, NCDC reported.

“The highest temperature readings of the day were reported at 109 degrees in Minneapolis, Kan., and Hebronville, Texas, tying previous records set in 2001 and 2009, respectively,” said NWS.

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

  • Greenland. Greenland’s massive ice sheet has thawed over an unusually large area, NASA has said.
    • The thawed area jumped from 40% of the ice sheet to 97% between   July 8 -11.
    • NASA scientists say they are ‘surprised‘ by the speed and scale of  this month’s thaw,  describing the phenomenon as ‘extraordinary.’
    • See also: Thought for the Day: A 2009 Forecast
  • Missouri. Gov. Nixon has declared a state of emergency due to the impact of continued severe heat and drought on agriculture and public health.
    • “Our farmers are suffering tremendous losses in crops and livestock, and we’re seeing more heat-related deaths and emergency room visits, particularly among seniors.” Nixon said. “In addition, we continue to see a high risk of fire from tinderbox conditions, and we are monitoring how the drought is affecting public water supplies and distribution.”
    • The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has reported 25 heat-related deaths between May 1 and July 22, with about 830 heat-related emergency visits to hospitals, reports said.
  • Assam, India.  “The death toll from ethnic violence in northeast India rose to 38 Wednesday after four days of clashes. At least 170,000 villagers have fled from their homes in the remote state of Assam,” said a report.
  • China. “Tens of thousands of people have been summoned to stand guard  protecting dikes in Jingzhou city (Pop: ~ 6.45 million), which lies downstream of the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei province. Authorities declared more than 620 kms of river banks as risky along the Yangtze and its tributaries in the city.” Said a report.

Original Caption: Armed police patrol at the Three Gorges Dam, a gigantic hydropower project on the Yangtze River, in Yichang City, central China’s Hubei Province, July 24, 2012. Due to the downpours in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, China’s longest, the Three Gorges Dam experienced its largest flood peak this year on Tuesday, with a peak flow of 70,000 cubic meters of water per second. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)

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Extreme Rain Events Devastate Large Parts of China

Posted by feww on July 14, 2010

More than two months of extreme rain, flooding, landslides in China affect tens of millions of people

Hundreds, most probably thousands have been killed, millions of hectares of cropland destroyed, tens of millions of people have lost their homes and livelihoods.

Extreme Rain in China

Image created using data from the Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis at GSFC, which is  calibrated by the TRMM satellite, acquired July 6 – 12, 2010. Source: NASA E/O.  Click image to enlarge.

End of the Line!

Buses are blocked on a waterlogged street in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, July 13, 2010. (Xinhua/Chen Zhuo). Image may be subject to copyright. See fair use notice.

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China’s Coastal Waters Are Terminally Polluted

Posted by feww on June 9, 2008

China would be lucky to find a single healthy fish swimming in its coastal waters by 2011.

A Shrinking World Series

China’s wetlands, coral reefs and mangroves are rapidly disappearing: expert

According to a Chinese specialist, Luan Weixin, a professor at the Economics and Management College at Dalian Maritime University:

  • About 50 percent of inland coastal wetlands in china have disapperaed because of excessive reclamation.
  • Some 80 percent of coral reefs and mangrove forests had been destroyed over the past 50 years.
  • Worst affected areas include estuaries of the Yangtze, Yellow and Zhujiang rivers, and water bodies near East Liaoning, Bohai and Hangzhou bays.
  • A total of 145,000 square kilometers of shallow waters along China’s coast are substandard.
  • Some 29,000 square kilometers of seawater is heavily contaminated by chemicals including fertilizers, which contain nitrogen and phosphate.

A child clears water from his boat in the algae-filled Chaohu Lake in Hefei, in east China’s Anhui province October 14, 2007. Blue-green algae has caused water pollution in Chaohu Lake, China’s fifth largest fresh water lake, where the rare whitebait production is on the decline, Xinhua News Agency reported. REUTERS/Jianan Yu (CHINA). Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

“Over the past 20 years or so, China’s marine economy has been developing at a staggeringly rapid pace and marine resources are being widely tapped. As a result, the condition of China’s inshore environment is deteriorating and the ocean ecology has been seriously damaged,” he said. (Source)

A man carrying lotus roots walk through an algae-filled pond in Yingtan, east China’s Jiangxi province, October 12, 2007. China’s pollution woes will form the smoggy backdrop to a key Communist Party gathering in October as leaders, who long treated nature as a foe to conquer, now fear that dirty air and water threaten stability and growth. REUTERS/Stringer (CHINA) CHINA OUT. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

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