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China Water Levels Keep Rising

August 23, 1998

BEIJING (AP) _ Water levels rose Sunday to the highest levels yet this year on the Yangtze River near the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing, threatening more flooding downstream where soggy dikes have begun to give way.

The government, meanwhile, announced a ban on logging in western Sichuan province along the upper reaches of the river to curb severe soil erosion.

Excessive logging of hillsides is partly to blame for the worst floods on the Yangtze in 44 years.

River levels dropped slowly on the lower and middle reaches of the Yangtze on Sunday after another crest passed. But the river was expected to crest again in flood danger zones by Tuesday, state radio reported.

At least 2,000 people have died nationwide, but the toll is expected to rise. Millions have fled their homes.

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