The controversial Three Gorges Dam is the largest structure of its kind in the world. This one is put to an enormous test in the form of record rainfall and water pressure. It's starting to get scary.
There have been disturbing reports from the media for several days. CNN, Xinhua, Asia Times and many other press offices report that the world's largest dam - the Three Gorges Dam - has been slightly deformed due to record rainfall. The latter italicized phrase is a direct translation from a statement by the Chinese authorities. Which the media, for some reason, do not fully believe.
The dam is relatively young, it was put into operation in 2003. It has never before faced such intense rainfall as is now taking place in China. Last weekend alone, the Yangtze River delivered 61,000 to the dam. m 3 of water. However, the authorities assure that the damage caused by such high water pressure is minor and concerns non-essential elements of the dam. This - as they say - is designed to contain much larger crises.
What would happen if the Three Gorges Dam were badly damaged?
The current rainfall is the most intense than that measured in 1998. The rains have already caused the death of 158 people, more than a million more have been evacuated. Losses are already estimated at over $ 20 billion. - and we are only talking about heavy rainfall, we are not even trying to add to it the amount resulting from the pandemic crisis.
If the dam failed, the flood wave would reach 120 million people and many large cities. According to the simulation, the city of Yichang with a population of 4 million would be completely destroyed by the water pressure in just 30 minutes. After another half an hour, there would be not much left of Jingzhou, the five millionth. Within 24 hours, a wave of several meters would reach Wuhan and Shanghai, which are extremely important economically and commercially.
This would mean enormous damage to the entire Chinese economy, including the production capacity of this country, which relies on almost the entire world. The economic crisis caused by such a catastrophe would be serious and global.
Fortunately - despite the limited confidence in the Chinese authorities' announcements - there is no evidence that the damage to the Three Gorges Dam is indeed serious. Most likely we are all just fed up with a lot of fear, and panic is highly inadvisable. The animation attached above, however, makes an electrifying impression.
The Chinese Three Gorges Dam was deformed as a result of record rainfall. If it breaks, it will be a tragedy