A 414-km frozen section of the middle reaches of the Yellow River, the second longest river in China, has thawed safe, according to local official sources.
"By 4 PM March 18, the river's Wuhai-Sanshenggong section in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region had completely thawed, without any untoward results," said Jing Lishan, director of the autonomous regional Yellow River Flood and Drought Control Office.
Over the past two weeks, the frozen sections of the Yellow River stopped melting for while as temperatures drop in north China.
With the temperatures rising since March 15, a 131-km frozen section of the river in the autonomous region thawed within three days, Jing said, adding this year's thawing date came on Jan. 1, 21 days earlier than last year.
So far, no ice-jam or ice flooding has occurred in the region.
Ice-jam floods are a common occurrence on the Yellow River in early winter and spring when changing temperatures cause freezes and thaws. The flows jamming the channel can damage or flood the river banks.
China recorded the warmest year in 2006 since 1951 and over the past decades the most evident temperature rises occurred in the Inner Mongolia, according to China Meteorological Bureau.
The 5,464 km Yellow River originates in Qinghai Province and flows through Gansu, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Shanxi and Henan, before passing through Shandong and emptying into Bohai Bay.
(Xinhua News Agency March 19, 2007)