Precarious, the Three Gorges dam;
the rain is the battering ram
and the earthquake as well
as the Yang Tse does swell
Constructing the dam was a sham.
When the Three Gorges River was built it was hailed as an engineering masterpiece and proof of the superiority of the central planning and execution of the Communist regime of the People’s Republic of China. But there were real problems from the start. It was built without an independent quality control function, so they asked a western organization to verify the structural integrity of the construction. It turned out that the rebars in the large concrete blocks were not affixed properly from unit to unit, and had not been affixed to the bedrock below, but could be subject to a slow creep under the pressure of water. The findings were not only ignored, but the inspectors were accused of racial prejudice, and besides, the construction was already done, and could not be changed. So it was given the final go-ahead.
There are troubling pictures emerging of that “slow creep:”
The creep in not inches, some parts of the dam has moved many feet from their original position. This is a disaster in making.
The torrential rains have been falling and now all the floodgates are open. The water behind the dam has risen to more than 50 feet above flood level and is close to top the whole dam.
Downstream there is a 700 year old Buddhist temple. It is still standing, but mostly under water
And this is what it looks like under normal circumstances.
Further downstream the flooding is getting worse than they were before the Three Gorges dam was constructed. After all it was made to alleviate floods.
Downstream are big cities like Wuhan, Nanjing and Shanghai.
Death toll in the north and central China floods have risen to 150 people, with scores still missing and hundreds of thousands forced from homes.. The dam is in a region that experiences frequent earthquakes, and so far there has been a small, shallow earthquake in the region, but everybody is bracing for the “big one.”
This is just the beginning.