Plunging water levels of the Yangtze River have revealed a submerged island in China’s southwestern city of Chongqing and a trio of Buddhist statues on it that are believed to be 600 years old, state media Xinhua has reported.
The three statues were found on the highest part of the island reef called Foyeliang, initially identified as built during the Ming and Qing dynasties. One of the statues depicts a monk sitting on a lotus pedestal.
The Yangtze’s water levels have been falling rapidly due to a drought and a heatwave in China’s southwestern region.
Rainfall in the Yangtze basin has been around 45% lower than normal since July, and high temperatures are likely to persist for at least another week, official forecasts said.
As many as 66 rivers across 34 counties in Chongqing have dried up, state broadcaster CCTV said on August 19.
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Top image: A once submerged Buddhist statue sits on top of Foyeliang island reef in the Yangtze river, which appeared after water levels fell due to a regional drought in Chongqing, China on August 20, 2022. Credit: Thomas Peter/REUTERS.