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Map of Yangtze RiverYangtze River

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  The Han River, at 1,532 kilometres, or 952 miles, the Yangtze's longest tributary, rises in the Yangtze riverQingling Mountains of Shanxi Province. ln 1488 it changed its course,separating the city of Hanyang from the fishing village of Hankou, as it then was.Though dikes line much of its lower course, this stretch has a history of frequent flooding. The British consular officer, August R. Margary, who trave1led all the way from Shanghai up the Yangtze and on to the Burmese border in 1876, on1y to be murdered by tribesmen as he cros5ed back into China, wrote of Hankou:

  This year they have had no inundation, but it is of almost annual occurtence.Even at Hankow the foreign settlement is frequently submerged. The River rises six feet above the level of the fine stone bund they have made there, and quiet1ytakes possession of all the lower rooms in the noble-looking mansions, which the merchants occupy. All their dining--room furniture has to be removed above. Boats become the only means of locomotion, and ladies can be seen canoeing in and out of their houses, and over the bund where they are wont to promenade at other times.

  Flooding occurred all times from l931 to l949; in l931 and l935 boats sailed down the streets of Wuhan. Though much has been done in recent years to control the Han's waters, the danger of flooding is still very real.


DongTing Lake

Three Kingdom's Red Cliff

• Han River