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El Nino to bring floods to China's longest river

Xinhua, April 1, 2016 Adjust font size:

Flood control authorities warned on Thursday that big floods are very likely on the Yangtze River this year due to a prolonged, strong El Nino effect.

Meteorological and hydrological analysis shows the El Nino event, which began in September 2014, has been the longest and strongest of its kind since observation records began in 1951, said Liu Ning, vice minister of water resources, at a meeting held in central China's Hubei Province.

Affected by the El Nino effect, serious flooding is highly possible in the Yangtze drainage area and the flood control and drought relief situation is extremely severe, he said.

The strong El Nino event, expected to come to an end in May, is quite similar to the one which triggered the heavy flooding of the Yangtze in 1998 that killed 1,320, according to the meeting.

In March, floods hit some tributaries of the Yangtze.

Precipitation in the upper, middle and lower reaches of the river is forecast to be as much as 80 percent more than normal from May to August.