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China floods: 100,000 on Yangtze evacuated, Leshan Buddha at risk

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Water intake at Three Gorges Dam expected to reach highest level since it was built in 2003 amid torrential rain.

More than 100,000 people have been evacuated from areas on the upper reaches of China‘s Yangtze river as flooding threatened a 1,200-year-old World Heritage Site.

Staff, police and volunteers used sandbags to try and protect the 71-metre (233-foot) Leshan Giant Buddha, a UNESCO World Heritage site in southwestern Sichuan province, as muddy water rose over its toes for the first time since 1949, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Sichuan, situated along the Yangtze, raised its emergency response to the maximum level on Tuesday to cope with a new round of torrential rainfall.

The Yangtze Water Resources Commission, the government body that oversees the river, declared a red alert late on Tuesday, saying water at some monitoring stations was expected to exceed “guaranteed” flood protection levels by more than five metres (16.4 feet).

The Three Gorges Project, a massive hydroelectric facility designed in part to tame floods on the Yangtze, is expected to see water inflows rise to 74,000 cubic metres per second on Wednesday, the highest since it was built, the Ministry of Water Resources said.

Stranded residents in SW China’s Sichuan province were evacuated to safety on Tuesday. Sichuan activated the highest level of #flood control response for the first time on record, as rain ravaged parts of the province. pic.twitter.com/0GavAZAXVg

— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) August 19, 2020

The #ThreeGorges Dam in C China’s #Hubei has been ready to face the largest ever flood peak since it was built in 2003 by coordinating with dams at its upper stream in Yangtze River to retain the flood water. https://t.co/a9g6RNiIxT pic.twitter.com/3ux4aabM9I

— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 19, 2020

The project restricts the amount of water flowing downstream by storing it in its reservoir, which has been at least 10 metres (33 feet) higher than its official warning level for more than a month.

The facility was forced to raise water discharge volumes on Tuesday in order to “reduce flood control pressures”, the water ministry said.

Authorities have been at pains to show that the cascade of giant dams and reservoirs built along the Yangtze’s upper reaches have shielded the region from the worst of the floods this year, although critics say they might be making things worse.

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Armenian Aggression

Russian, Belarus presidents discuss situation in Karabakh via phone

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By Trend

The topic of Karabakh was discussed, among other issues, in a phone talk between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and the Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, held on April 15, the press service of the Russian Presidential Administration said following the talk, Trend reports referring to TASS.

"In the context of the recent visit of Alexander Lukashenko to Azerbaijan, the topic of Karabakh settlement was raised," noted the press service.

Putin and Lukashenko expressed their intention to further comprehensively strengthen Russian-Belarusian allied relations.

"During the talk, some important issues of the bilateral agenda have been discussed. Mutual disposition was expressed to further strengthen allied relations between the two countries in a comprehensive way," added the press service.

Following over a month of the Second Karabakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan from late Sept. to early Nov. 2020, a joint statement was made by the Azerbaijani president, Armenia's PM, and the president of Russia to end the war.

A complete ceasefire and a cessation of all hostilities in Karabakh were introduced on Nov. 10, 2020.

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Armenian Aggression

Turkey sees decline in number of real estates bought by Azerbaijani citizens in 1Q2021

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By Trend

Azerbaijani citizens purchased 251 real estate properties in Turkey from January through March 2021, which is 33 properties less compared to the same period of 2020, Trend reports with reference to the Turkish State Authority on Land Cadastre and Real Estate Purchase and Sale.

In March 2021, Azerbaijani citizens purchased 106 real estate properties in Turkey, which is 11 properties more compared to March 2020, said the authority’s report.

According to the report, a total of 111,241 properties were sold in Turkey in March 2021, which is 2.4 percent more compared to the same month of 2020.

In the reporting month, 4,248 real estate properties were sold to foreigners in Turkey, which is 39.9 percent more compared to the same month of 2020.

By late 2020, Azerbaijani citizens purchased 1,279 real estate properties in Turkey.

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Armenian Aggression

Opening of Zangazur corridor to expand Azerbaijan’s transit potential, says expert

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By Trend

The opening of the Zangazur corridor will ensure reviving the old system of routes passing through the South Caucasus, Ilgar Valizade, Head of the South Caucasus political scientists' club, told Trend.

Valizade noted that other railway corridors are joining this railway system.

The opening of the Zangazur corridor will allow opening the railway lines of the Julfa district of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan with access to the Iranian railways, the club’s head said.

The political scientist noted that work continues on the construction of the Kars-Igdir railway, which will connect the Zangazur corridor through Nakhchivan with Kars.

In this way, the railway ring will make it possible to create such routes as Kars-Igdir-Nakhchivan and Nakhchivan-Baku, he stressed.

Valizade believes that the development of the transport sector will contribute to the growth of the country's economy and related transport infrastructure.

“The Zangazur corridor is not only railways but also automobile roads. The creation of this corridor will also open up road connections,” the expert said.

The creation of this route will become a convenient way of direct deliveries of Turkish goods to Azerbaijan and back, he added.

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