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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

Kalbajar returned to its true owners – Turkish government

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By Trend

Kalbajar has returned to its true owners, which is an important event in the history of the fraternal Azerbaijani people, the Turkish government told Trend on Nov.25.

According to the government, the return of the district, like the rest of the formerly occupied territories of Azerbaijan, is a cause celebration for Turkey as well.

"We congratulate the Azerbaijani people on the return of Kalbajar and look forward to the Lachin district’s return," the government said.

The district was liberated from the Armenian occupation.

According to a trilateral statement signed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, it was agreed to withdraw the Armenian Armed Forces from the Kalbajar district on November 25.

Kalbajar was kept under occupation by the Armed Forces of Armenia since April 3, 1993.

Units of the Azerbaijani army entered the Kalbajar district on November 25.

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UNICEF Azerbaijan mine risk education project kicks off

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By Laman Ismayilova

UNICEF Azerbaijan and the National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) have carried out a mine risk education project.

The initiative is aimed at raising awareness on the risk of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), especially for children.

Through informational sessions and child-friendly materials, over 2,500 people, including 453 children in affected regions have learned how to stay safe when encountering ERW.

Earlier in October, UNICEF Azerbaijan has released a statement on one month of fighting in and beyond Nagorno-Karabakh.

"Ten-month-old Narin; one-year-old Madina; Aysu, 8; Viktoria, 9; Shahriyar, 13; Artur, 13; Farid, 14; Fidan, 15; Nigar, 15; Orkhan, 16. These are the names and ages of 10 children known to have been killed during one month of fighting in and beyond the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. The names of an 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl have not been released," the statement said.

"Over 130,000 people have been displaced, 76 schools and kindergartens damaged, and one maternity hospital shelled. Countless children are being scarred by the psychological impact of daily exposure to rocket and missile attacks in civilian areas. For children, this is the horrific tally of four weeks of fighting, and three thus far unrespected ceasefires."

For more than 25 years UNICEF has been working with the government and people of Azerbaijan to provide every child with the best start to life.

Its activities began during some of the country’s most difficult times, assisting refugees and internally displaced people from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and addressing the impact of economic hardships caused by the transition from the Soviet power to independence in 1991.

UNICEF now strives to build on the considerable progress Azerbaijan has made, economically and socially, over the last two decades. Poverty rates have dramatically decreased, child mortality rates have fallen, and primary school enrollment is almost universal.

The organization focuses its attention on those children who have not fully benefited from such advances. We work alongside the government, communities and families in Azerbaijan to reach out to those children who remain vulnerable or at risk, to initiate new approaches to child and youth development, and to strengthen the national capacities and systems that support children and families.

Being responsible for planning and coordination, management and monitoring of mine action related activities all over the country, ANAMA is the executing agency in Azerbaijan Mine Action Programme, the joint project of the Azerbaijani government and the UNDP signed on April 2, 1999.

The agency operates according to the state programmes, government tasks and ANAMA principles.

Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova

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President Ilham Aliyev allocates AZN 5m for design and construction of Barda-Aghdam railway line

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Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has signed an Order to provide funding for the design and construction of Barda-Aghdam railway line.

Under the presidential Order, Azerbaijan Railways CJSC is initially allocated 5 million manats for the design and construction of the 45km-long railway line.

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