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China decrees red alert for drought in main freshwater lake


China decrees red alert for drought in main freshwater lake

Beijing, Sep 23 (Prensa Latina) China issued a red alert because the volume of Poyang Lake, the largest freshwater lake, receded 7,1% and now occupies only 244 of the 3,500 square kilometers of its average size.

This level of emergency implies difficulties for the supply of the liquid mainly in the eastern province of Jiangxi, as the crisis experienced by the reservoir since the summer due to high temperatures and lack of rainfall worsened.

According to the latest report, the Poyang is at 10% of its capacity, with only 19.4 meters of water and the lowest amount accumulated since 1951.

The reduction is so great that a 2,657-meter-long granite bridge built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) was exposed, and projections point to a continued decline in volume until it loses almost six more meters by October 8.

The lake is known by locals as ‘the kidney’ due to its importance in regulating the Yangtze River, China’s longest river; but it entered its dry period last August 6 and was the earliest date since 1951.

Apart from affecting the supply of water to the population, the transportation of boats and the irrigation of crops in the area, the situation poses a threat to migratory birds that choose the Poyang as an important stopover as they head south for the winter.

In August, the government allocated more than US$1.574 billion to mitigate the damage caused by the drought to agricultural crop yields, livestock breeding and the stability of the electro-energy system.


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