GIFs: Wuhan’s Shrinking Lakes

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo July 11, 2016


沙湖曾是武汉市仅次于东湖的第二大“城中湖”,2000年以来被房地产开发潮不断蚕食;卫星图显示2000.11.1 -

沙湖曾是武汉市仅次于东湖的第二大“城中湖”,2000年以来被房地产开发潮不断蚕食;卫星图显示2000.11.1 – 2016.2.20 【新华社原文

This year’s rainy season and floods have wrecked havoc on the city of Wuhan, which was home to 127 lakes in its urban areas. Now the city has 38 lakes remaining. Even though this many have survived the dramatic urbanization and land reclamation over the past few decades, they have most likely shrunk a great deal. With many new neighborhoods on low-lying lands that used to be lakes, the battle against floods this year is a particularly difficult one. Here below are a couple of examples viewed from space, thanks to Google Earth and those who care to find these images. [Tap on the link in the above image’s caption for original Xinhua post in Chinese language.]

Shahu Lake (or literally translated as sandy lake) used to be the second largest lake after the East Lake in Wuhan City. Since 2000, due to the encroaching real estate development and urbanization, the lake has been divided by a road and surrounded by high-rise buildings (above).

Below is a detailed view of the middle section of the lake’s southern shore, where a lake-cutting road starts and new high-rise apartment buildings stand:


沙湖西南一角 2000 – 2015年之间的变迁;如今,原来的湖面已经几栋高层住宅拔地而起


Here below is another lake, Xiama Lake, which has gone through a similar treatment:


下马湖 2000 – 2016年间的变化