Picture of the day

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 January, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 January, 2003, 12:00am

Two people take a walk on the frozen Yellow River in Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, northwest China. Unseasonal cold weather has seen more than 50 per cent of the river's Ningxia section submerged underneath a blanket of ice.

Did you know . . . the Yellow River is the second-largest river in China? It is 5,400 kilometres long and is also known as the cradle of Chinese civilisation. Early major Chinese dynasties emerged along the river. Traditionally the river has provided water to 12 per cent of the population. However, drought and soil erosion are threatening its future. Excessive mining and pollution are also blamed for the desertification. Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region invested 228 million yuan (about HK$216 million) between 1998 and 2001 to tackle soil erosion, according to the mainland media. Trees are planted to reduce the amount of sand washed into the river. Meanwhile, excess sediment deposits raise the riverbed downstream and cause flooding during the rainy season.

Graphic: PIWE15GES