2008-06-25 03:24:00 GMT 2008-06-25 11:24:00 (Beijing Time) China Daily
SHANGHAI - Continuous rain is driving up the water level in East China's lakes posing a threat to the economic powerhouse in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region.
The water level in Taihu Lake in Jiangsu province reached 3.88 meters, 0.38 meters above the danger level, Tuesday, the Taihu Basin Authority (TBA), under the Ministry of Water Resources, said.
Water, however, is expected to rise slowly during the next couple of days because no heavy rain has been forecast till Friday and efforts to drain out the lake's excess water are on.
It is feared, though, that a couple of heavy showers can raise the water level in Taihu, the country's third largest freshwater lake, very fast, a TBA official surnamed Lin said.
More heavy rain could cause more misery to the millions of people in the region, which was hit by thunderstorms and heavy downpours only last week.
The threat to dams cannot be ruled out either if the area between the Yangtze and Huaihe rivers and Taihu get more heavy rain in the next few days.
At least three people were killed and four injured on Monday night when lightning struck their boat near Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province.
Water in Anhui province's Chaohu Lake has risen above the danger level too.
The flood season is not over but the lakes and rivers are already full because of the heavy downpours, Lin said.
A severe tropical storm is likely to hit Zhejiang, bringing more rain to a province already threatened by rising waters.
China Central Meteorological Station has said Typhoon Fengshen, with a gust wind of 28 meters per second, is likely to hit the coastal areas, from Shenzhen in Guangdong to Zhaoan in Fujian, early today.
The typhoon has been downgraded to a storm but it will still bring a lot of rain.
The Fujian provincial meteorological observatory issued a warning yesterday morning saying strong winds will hit the southern coastal area and the Taiwan Straits in the next 24 hours, and asked all vessels at sea to return to harbor.
The flood control department of Zhejiang issued a high alert against Fengshen, too. The provincial authorities could shift residents to safer places, and are taking necessary steps to ensure smooth power supply if disaster strikes.