Eintime Conversion for education and research 05-14-2006 @ 16:50:57
Copyrighted by originating associated source: Original

Giant Lake Flooded China*

Giant lake threatens to flood millions

August 20, 2002 Posted: 4:47 AM EDT (0847 GMT)

Rescuers carry a woman to safety at Xingan in Guilin



Staff and wires

HONG KONG, China -- Chinese authorities are warning that the nation faces possibly its worst flooding crisis in years with China's second biggest lake, the Dongting, threatening to burst its banks and placing around 10 million people at severe risk.

Heavy rain has pushed the water levels of the lake past the flood warning mark, with more rain forecast in the coming days.

The situation compounds worsening flooding across Asia that has already claimed an estimated 1,800 lives this season. (Full story)

Forecasters say they expect conditions to deteriorate further during the coming week.


CNN's Jaime FlorCruz reports on the devastation from flash floods in China in the last three months.

Play video


• Asian floods claim 1,800 lives


Gallery: Asia ravaged by floods

CNN.com Asia

More news from our

Asia edition

Located in central Hunan province, the Dongting lake acts as a giant overflow for the flood-prone Yangtze River.

Thousands of kilometers of embankments around it shields 667,000 hectares (1.6 million acres) of fertile farmland, the state-run China Daily said.

The lake's watermark was half a meter over the 32-meter (105-foot) flood warning level and expected to rise, the China Daily reported Tuesday.

Thousands of people had been mobilized to man the lake's vast embankments, the report said, with levels tipped to hit 33.2 meters (109 feet) later Tuesday.

More than 900 have been killed in China in the past two months from flooding prompting officials to warn that this year's wet season may prove worse than the deadly floods in 1998.

Then, more than 4,000 people died after the Yangtze and Dongting burst their banks.

Fears that tropical storm Vongfong, which doused Hong Kong and China's southern coast over the past couple of days, would add to the crisis eased, with the weather system weakening further on Tuesday.

(Original Len: 2517 Condensed Len: 2798)

Created by Eintime:CondenseHtmlFile on 060514 @ 16:50:57 CMD=RAGSALL -LP83