Torrential rains caused massive flooding across the Yangtze River, Yellow River, and Huai River and have affected 54.8 million people in 27 provincial-level regions in China.
The world’s largest dam in China, Three Gorges Dam is being tested to its limits as widespread flooding continues along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.
Constant rain has raised concerns about the integrity of the dam in recent weeks.
However, authority of the watershed hub management center of the China Three Gorges Corp have denied any danger to the dam.
While addressing a press conference the Three Gorges Corp was asked: “Some foreign media have hyped the “deformation” and “collapse” of the Three Gorges Dam. What is the current operation status of the project? Have there been any deformation or other risks recently?”
“At present, the Three Gorges Dam is operating in good condition. There have been no deformations or other risks, and the project is not as fragile as some people think.
“Safety monitoring is part of the project. Monitoring instruments were installed in the dam as early as 1994 to measure its operating condition in a timely and accurate manner.
“Some 12,000 instruments were installed by the end of June, covering the buildings, foundations and slopes of the project. They monitor deformation, seepage, seepage pressure, stress, strain, strong earthquakes and other situations.
“Manual inspection work has also been carried out to ensure safety.
Rumors about the deformation or collapse of the Three Gorges Dam are alarmist. Any guesses without scientific and careful monitoring data are unscientific, irresponsible, amateurish and have ulterior motives.”
Fan Xiao, chief engineer with Sichuan’s Provincial Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources says the dam has only held 9 per cent of this year’s Yangtze floods.
“The dam can only temporarily intercept flooding upstream, but it can do nothing to the flooding from heavy rains in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze,” Mr Xiao told the Asia Times.
Mr Xiao went on to suggest that large cement structures such as the Three Gorges Dam may even exacerbate flooding, by altering flows in the rivers’ lower reaches.