Flooding may be a side effect of Venus' move

Beijing - The recent spectacular transit of Venus across the face of the sun may lead to disastrous flooding along China's Yellow River, a leading scientist warned in the local media on Sunday.

While millions were marvelling at the celestial show earlier this month, Geng Guoqing, an expert on natural calamities, was more worried about the consequences for China's second-longest river, the Xinhua news agency reported.

He compared historical records reaching 2 187 years back and found a clear correllation between Venus transits and serious floods along the river's middle and lower reaches, according to the agency.

The reason could be that Venus blocks part of the sun's radiation that should have been transmitted to Earth, said Guo, a researcher at the Special Committee on Natural Calamities Forecasting under the China Geophysics Society.

This causes climatic disturbances across the globe, he argued.

As the flood season approaches, officials along banks of the 5 464km Yellow River are not taking any chances.

Four silt-stirring vessels started a 24-day operation on Saturday morning to remove tons of silt from the river, in one of many efforts to prevent flood waters rising, Xinhua said in a separate report.

Torrential rains and flooding were responsible for nearly 2 000 deaths in China in the first nine months of last year. - Sapa-AFP

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