Drone footage shows a major river in China nearly drying up

Drone footage shows a major river in China nearly drying up

Drone footage Thursday showed a nearly dry bed of the Jialing River, a tributary of the Yangtze River in southwest China, amid an unprecedented drought across the region.

Rainfall in the Yangtze River basin has been about 45% lower than normal since July, and high temperatures are expected to persist for at least a week, according to official forecasts.

The severe basinwide heatwave, caused by a largerthanusual subtropical western Pacific high, lasted more than two months, reducing hydroelectric power supplies and drying out large swathes of farmland. The Yangtze River feeds about a third of the country’s population.

China warned on Wednesday that the severe drought along the Yangtze River could last into September as local governments struggle to maintain electricity supplies and find fresh water to irrigate crops ahead of the fall harvest.

The Chinese government has warned of the increased risk of extreme weather events as a result of climate change, and heavy rains continue to impact other parts of the country.

See other images of the nearly dry river below:

1 in 5 children play in the almost dry bed of the Jialing River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, in China — Photo: Portal/Thomas Peter

Children play in the almost dry riverbed of the Jialing River, a tributary of the Yangtze River in China — Photo: Portal/Thomas Peter

2 of 5 The foundation of the central pillar of the bridge crossing the Jialing River is exposed by the drought — Photo: Portal/Thomas Peter

The foundation of the central pillar of the bridge crossing the Jialing River has been exposed by the drought — Photo: Portal/Thomas Peter

3 of 5 A woman dressed as a bride takes a photo shoot on the dry bed of the Jialing River in China — Photo: Portal/Thomas Peter

A woman dressed as a bride takes a photo shoot on the dry bed of the Jialing River in China — Photo: Portal/Thomas Peter

4 of 5 Anchor chain holding a speedboat is seen on the dry bed of the Jialing River in China — Photo: Portal/Thomas Peter

An anchor chain with a speedboat is seen on the dry bed of the Jialing River in China — Photo: Portal/Thomas Peter

5 of 5 The Jialing River has become puddles due to the drought ravaging the Chongqing region of China — Photo: Portal/Thomas Peter

The Jialing River is reduced to puddles because of the drought hitting the Chongqing region of China — Photo: Portal/Thomas Peter