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Falling water levels of river in China reveal three Buddhist statues thought to be 600 years old

Three Buddhist statues, believed to be 600 year old, have been discovered by falling water levels in China’s Yangtze River.

Parts of Yangtze, the third-longest river in the world, have been drying out amid severe heatwaves that led to the issuing a nationwide drought alert.

These statues can be found in the top part of the island reef in China’s southwest city of Chongqing.

Foyeliang, one of the statues depicting the island’s monks, is a lotus-topped pedestal.

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This heatwave, which has been the most severe in six decades, saw temperatures consistently exceed 40C (104F), in many cities.

Forecasters warned that the heatwave could continue into September, raising concerns about a “grave condition” in Sichuan province due to loss of hydropower.

Authorities are working hard to preserve power and to find fresh water for irrigation crops in the lead up to the autumn harvest.

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A larger-than-usual Western Pacific subtropical low caused the severe heatwave in Yangtze Basin.

Image An once-submerged Buddhist statue rests on the Foyeliang island coral in the Yangtze

It has been in place for more than two months and reduced hydropower supplies, as well as parching large areas of arable land.

About a third of the country is supported by the Yangtze River.

Beijing officials have warned about the growing risk of extreme weather in China due to climate changes, while heavy rains continue to take their toll elsewhere in the country.

Sky News has more information:

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Officials have stated that the water levels at the Yangtze main trunk and in the flood basin lakes of Dongting, Poyang are now below normal. This is the lowest recorded level for this period.

Forecasters have reported that the average rainfall in the basin was around 45% less than usual since July.

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