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Harbin braces for coming floodwaters

By Tian Xuefei and Zhou Huiying in Harbin | | Updated: 2020-09-24 17:42
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The Songhua River in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, on Thursday. [Photo by Liu Xiju/for]

A yellow flood alert has been activated in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, and all ship services have been suspended as the region braces for flooding along the Songhua River.

Floodwaters are expected to reach the area on Friday.

All ship traffic along the Songhua River in Harbin's urban Binxian and Bayan counties has been suspended since Tuesday, according to a statement from the Harbin maritime safety administration.

The water level at the Harbin hydrometric station rose on Thursday morning to 118.5 meters, 0.2 meters above the warning line, according to the provincial water resource department.

On Tuesday afternoon, the provincial water resource department issued a yellow alert for flood — the third-highest level in the four-tiered warning system — up from blue, the lowest, which was issued at 8 am the same day.

Forecasters predicted that the flood peak of the Songhua River will reach Harbin on Friday, with the water level above 118.6 meters, 0.32 meters above the warning line. The inflow of water is expected to reach 8,300 cubic meters per second.

To ensure safety, the Harbin maritime safety administration urged all ships to anchor at the nearest safe place on the Songhua.

Operations of all barges, such as those for sand mining, have been halted.

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