Photos show old buildings and riverbeds as China’s most important canal is consumed by drought.

China’s longest river and a key component of its economy, the Yangtze, is drying up. The central regions of China have been impacted by prolonged periods of high heat and little rainfall. Old buildings and riverbeds that were once submerged are now visible as the Yangtze retreats. The Yangtze River in China, sometimes referred to as the nation’s lifeblood, has dropped to its lowest level in 60 years.

A two-month heatwave that affected the central provinces of Sichuan, Hubei, Chongqing, Hunan, Jiangxi, and Anhui of the nation caused hundreds of reservoirs and rivers that the Yangtze regularly fills to dry up.

For the eleventh day in a row, China issued issued a high-temperature red alert , the most serious warning in its four-tier system. What was intended to be the yearly wet season for the central region has become a drought, which is escalating into a problem with the economy and the availability of power.

These images depict how China’s cities appear as the Yangtze retreats to almost record-low levels.