Drought stops shipping along Yangtze

Updated: 2011-05-12 17:21
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Drought stops shipping along Yangtze


Ships stranded due to the low water are seen along the Yangtze River in Yueyang, Central China's Hunan province, May 11, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua] 


SHANGHAI - Shipping along the Yangtze River, one of China's most vital waterways, has been closed at some points to prevent ships being grounded due to low water levels.

Officials of the Yangtze River Waterway Bureau said Wednesday they closed the section from the major inland port city of Wuhan to Yueyang, about 185 kilometers (about 115 miles) upriver.

It was unclear how many ships would be affected by the delays or how long they might last. Photographs in recent days have shown lines of barges and ships lined up along the river, waiting to move up or downstream.

Much of central, northern and southwestern China has been parched by drought, ruining crops and causing severe water shortages for millions living in the region.