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Natural disasters

Three Gorges Dam waters drop from peak, but flood risk persists

China floods cause nearly $3bn in damage and affect 4m people

The water level at Three Gorges Dam, shown here in a photo by Xinhua, reached an all-time high of 167 meters on Saturday.   © Kyodo

CHONGQING -- The water level at China's Three Gorges Dam has dropped from its record peak over the weekend, although the risk of flooding lingers as heavy rains continue.

The water receded to 165 meters Monday after reaching 167.65 meters Saturday, the highest since the hydroelectric dam opened in 2003, Xinhua News Agency reported.

But the water line remains far above the 145-meter limit set to control flooding during the summer and fall rainy season.

Authorities remain vigilant as heavy rains are expected to persist upstream on the Yangtze River through Wednesday. Floodwaters have inundated parts of Sichuan Province, the metropolis of Chongqing and other areas upstream from the dam.

The floods have affected almost 4 million people and caused nearly 20 billion yuan ($2.89 billion) in direct damage, with crops and commercial buildings among the hardest hit.

Water levels have fallen in upstream cities, and floodwaters continue to recede from roads and other affected areas. In Chongqing, a commercial development that was flooded has partially reopened, according to local media.

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