The Yellow River in its upper reaches was diverted at 50 cubic meters per second on Monday morning to a lake in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to allay flood danger on its main course.
It was the first time that the flood diversion measure has been deployed to relieve Yellow River floodwater pressure caused by an ice run blockage in Inner Mongolia, where a 720 km long stretch of the river section is still blocked by ice.
The Yellow River, China's second longest, freezes and thaws at different times. A 210-kilometer section of the river's 260-km stretch in upper Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region has thawed, but further downstream, high-altitude Inner Mongolia still has a frozen section blocking the sudden gush of melting water from the upper reaches.
Zheng Chunmao, head of the flood control headquarters in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region said that the river's ice flood was the heaviest in 40 years. The river's watercourse in the region is holding some 1.8 billion cubic meters of water, 50 percent more than in a normal year.
The water diversion was controlled by the Yellow River Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, which is aimed to store some 150 million cubic meters of the flood water in Wuliangsu Lake through a main drainage canal of Hetao area over 15 days, and draining out another 70 million cubic meters of water to the Ulan Buh Desert if necessary.
(Xinhua News Agency March 10, 2008)