WUHAN - More than 9,000 soldiers and disaster relief workers were mobilized to lay sandbags on dikes and to check for leaks in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei province, as the city on Wednesday braces for flood waters from two swollen rivers.
According to the Yangtze Water Resources Commission, flood peaks of the mainstream of the Yangtze and the Hanjiang rivers, the Yangtze's largest tributary, are expected to converge in Wuhan.
The level of Hanjiang River is expected to rise to 30.5 meters, the highest in two decades, when the flood peak passes Wuhan on Friday while the water level of the mainstream of Yangtze is forecast to rise over the danger line to 27.3 meters on Thursday.
Wuhan has a population of about 9.1 million.
In nearby Xiantao city, workers were on standby Wednesday to open flood gates to divert water from the swollen Hanjiang River to an emergency reservoir.
About 5,000 residents near the reservoir were evacuated overnight.
A flood peak is expected to arrive at Xiantao Thursday afternoon and raise the Hanjiang River's water level to 35.9 meters -- exceeding the danger level of a nearby dike that guards Hanchuan city.
In Yichang city, on the upper reaches of the Yangtze, the highest water flow of the year -- about 56,000 cubic meters per second -- hurtled past the Three Gorges Dam.
The dam withstood the flow with a water discharge rate of 40,000 cubic meters per second.