On the afternoon of 5 July, H. E. Mr. E Jingping, Deputy Head of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters and Minister of Water Resources presided over a flood control consultation meeting to analyze and judge the trends of the current rainfall and flood regimes along the Yangtze River and the Taihu Lake, and make further arrangements for patrol, inspection and protection of dikes/levees, scheduling of reservoirs and sluices, and prevention and control of flashflood disasters. Mr. Ye Jianchun, Vice Minister of Water Resources attended the meeting.
According to Miniser E Jingping, with both the Taihu Lake and the trunk channel/tributaries along the middle/lower reaches of the Yangtze River caught in rising water levels right now and expected to be hit by heavy rainfalls later on, the water levels at the Taihu Lake as well as along most sections of the mainstream Yangtze River middle/lower reaches will stay above the alert levels for a fairly long time, bringing flood prevention/control work to a critical stage. As such, Minister E emphasized the need to ensure flood control security by effectively completing tasks such as scheduling of water works, patrol, inspection and emergency protection of dikes/levees, and prevention/control of flashflood disasters. In particular, the minister required the water sector to: (1) Fine schedule operation of the Three Gorges Reservoir. Early on, the Three Gorges Reservoir played an important interception role in responding to the No.1 Flood along the Yangtze River, and therefore has already used up some of its flood control capacity. At present, special attention should be paid to subsequent rainfall forecasts in the reservoir area so as to conduct timely rolling analysis, whereby in the case of intensive rainfalls, discharge flows could be increased to an appropriate extent so that enough flood control capacity would be created in a timely manner as a preparation for response to potential severe floods; (2) Ensure outbound flood drainage from the Taihu Lake with full efforts. Every possible effort should be exerted for scientific scheduling of water works around the Taihu Lake, such as the sluice gates along the Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province and the water work that drains Taihu floods southward into the Hangzhou Bay in Zhejiang Province. Meanwhile, it is necessary to place full-time personnel and special teams on duty, set up real-time records for projects such as pumping stations and sluice gates along the Yangtze River, and fully tap into the outbound drainage potentials, so as to reduce the water level of the Taihu Lake by all means; (3) Strengthen patrol, inspection and protection of water works along the Yangtze River and around the Taihu Lake. In this regard, it is imperative to carry out earnest analysis of the potential risks and dangers that may exist at the sections along the middle/lower reaches of the main stream Yangtze River as well as the dikes/levees and main tributaries of the Taihu Lake, with special attention to be paid to the sections that significantly exceed the alert levels. Areas along the Yangtze River and around the Taihu Lake should be urged to effectively patrol, inspect, safeguard and emergency protect the dikes/levees, make timely reports to emergency response authorities on flood situations, and request the latter to ensure successful emergency rescues; (4) Effectively guard against flashfloods in Chongqing, Guizhou and Hubei. Continuous intensive rainfalls are still expected in all these three localities, with local rainstorms highly likely to trigger flashfloods. It is imperative to promptly inform local authorities of rainfall forecasts and short-duration intensive precipitations, ensure timely release of monitoring, forecasting and early-warning information, and request grassroots governments to evacuate people and avert risks.
Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces have taken proactive measures in response to the current flood situations. Hunan initiated Level III flood/drought emergency response and dispatched 2 working groups to guide local flood control work. Hubei initiated Level IV flood emergency response and dispatched 5 working groups to key areas for supervision and guidance, increased the drainage intensity of the large pumping stations of the five major lakes (with the total discharge capacity of 1831 m3/s), and strengthened patrol, inspection and protection of dikes/levees. Jiangxi initiated Level IV flood emergency response, convened flood-control emergency mobilization meetings, and dispatched 2 working groups to guide flood control work in Shangrao and Jingdezhen. Jiangsu initiated Level IV flood emergency response in the Taihu region, dispatched 13 working groups to guide flood control work on the frontline, and increased the intensity of flood drainage at the sluice gates along the Yangtze River. Zhejiang initiated Level III flood/drought emergency response and enhanced outbound drainage from water works such as the one that drains Taihu floods southward into the Hangzhou Bay.
The Ministry of Water Resources raised its flood/drought emergency response to Level Ⅲ on 4 July, while the Changjiang Water Resources Commission (CWRC) and the Taihu Basin Authority (TBA) both initiated Level Ⅲ emergency responses, enhanced joint scheduling of reservoir groups such as the Three Gorges Reservoir on the Yangtze River and intensified outbound drainage of the sluice stations around the Taihu Lake. In addition to the previous 4 working groups sent to Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hubei and Chongqing, 2 more were dispatched to Anhui and Guizhou on 5 July to assist in their flood control. After the consultation meeting, the ministry issued a notice to the departments (bureaus) of water resources (water affairs) in provinces and municipalities directly under the central government including Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Chongqing and Guizhou, as well as the CWRC and the TBA, making further arrangements for patrol, inspection, protection and emergency rescue of dikes/levees and other relevant work.