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Flood Control Operation Ends Safely in Three Gorges Reservoir

Water flow into the Three Gorges reservoir fell to 20,000 cubic meters per second on Monday, marking a successful conclusion to this year's largest flood control operation, officials said.

Continuous rains and flooding in the upper sections of the Yangtze River, China's longest, since June 17 had pushed water flow into the reservoir up to 36,300 cubic meters per second, said the officials with China Three Gorges Project Corporation.

Water influx began to fall on Sunday and stood at 17,000 cubic meters per second at 2:00 PM with precipitation decreasing in the upper sections of Yangtze River.

The water level outside the reservoir fell from 52.49 meters on June 20 to 46.17 meters at 9:00 PM on Monday, according to the officials.

The Three Gorges dam, 2,309 meters long and 185 meters high, was completed in May last year and the water level in the reservoir was raised to 156 meters from 135 meters in October. The dam had been designed to help control floods that might occur only once every 1,000 years.

The water level of the reservoir is allowed to rise from 144 meters to 156 meters, which would prevent 6.8 billion cubic meters of water from flowing downstream.

The US$22.5 billion Three Gorges project was launched in 1993. Its 26 turbo-generators are designed to produce 85 billion kwh of electricity a year after their installation is completed in 2008.

(Xinhua News Agency June 26, 2007)

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