China: Three Gorges Dam causes quakes and landslides

Roads are cracked in the Huang Gu Po district of Badong on the lower reaches of the Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges dam was so vast and sweeping a vision that nothing could stand in its way. Not the old cities of the Yangtze valley, storehouses of human toil and treasure for more than a thousand years. Not the lush, low-lying farmlands, nor the villages, nor even the pagodas and temples that graced the riverbanks.

The cries of dissenting scientists and the lamentations of more than a million Chinese people forced to leave their ancestral lands counted for nothing.

When the waters rose to 570ft last year, drowning all these things, it marked a triumph for the engineers at the top of the Chinese Communist party.

But in the past six months a sinister trail of events has unfolded from the dam all the way up the 410-mile reservoir to the metropolis of Chongqing.

It began with strange, small-scale earthquakes recorded by official monitoring stations and reported by the Chinese media.

Mysterious cracks split roads and sundered schoolhouses and apartments in newly built towns and villages on the bluffs looking down on the river.

The local government now says that 300,000 people will have to move out in addition to the 1.4m evicted to make way for the dam.

More than 50,000 residents have already been relocated owing to seismic problems that were not foreseen when the dam was built, according to the state news agency, Xinhua.

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China Orders Up to 1.3 Million to Evacuate on Quake Lake Danger

May 30 (Bloomberg) — China is ordering the evacuation of up to 1.3 million people as a lake formed after the country’s deadliest earthquake in 32 years threatens to burst its banks, flooding a nearby city, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Tangjiashan, the biggest of more than 30 lakes created after landslides caused by the May 12 quake blocked rivers, is in an “extremely dangerous” state, the Ministry of Water Resources said on its Web site today.

The evacuation order was given by Tan Li, the Communist Party Secretary of Mianyang city and the head of the city’s earthquake control and relief headquarters, Xinhua said. People living in the area have been ordered to move to higher ground earmarked by the local government, the report said.

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400 Chinese dams ‘in danger’

CHINESE authorities have reported dangerous situations at more than 400 reservoirs after this week’s deadly earthquake, state-run television said today, citing officials. Some 391 reservoirs, two of them major ones, had “dangerous situations” across five provinces including worst-hit Sichuan, CCTV said, quoting officials from the National Development and Reform Commission.

Authorities in Chongqing, a major metropolis next to Sichuan, also reported problems in 19 reservoirs, the TV report said.

From correspondents in Beijing
May 15, 2008 06:32pm

Source: heraldsun

China earthquake 2008

Hundreds of damaged dams raised fears of collapse or flooding that could inundate towns and cities already struggling to recover. And officials warned of mudslides on brittle hillsides as it rains in the region.

China’s worst earthquake in more than 30 years struck southwest China on May 12, killing tens of thousands and injuring many more.

The death toll from the powerful 7.9 magnitude quake could soar above 50,000 as hope fades for thousands buried under rubble, state media says.

The official death toll already stands at over 21,500, with 25,000 still buried in areas rescuers have struggled to reach in Sichuan province.

The government says the quake damage could exceed the devastating 1976 tremor in the northeastern city of Tangshan that killed up to 300,000 people.

Roads and phone lines have been cut off since the quake, which caused buildings to sway across China and as far away as the Thai capital Bangkok.

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