Thursday, June 25, 2020

Three Gorges Dam, World's Largest, 'Not at risk of Collapse' Right Now

That's the official outward-facing party organ, Global Times with the reassuring words.
First up, some background from PoAndPo, then maybe a personal connection to the behemoth.

PostOnlineMedia, June 23:
First red alert in China after 80 years as massive flood threatens 400 million lives
As southern China sees some of its worst flooding in 80 years, videos have surfaced showing extreme quantities of water inundating 10 provinces and cities, threatening the vaunted Three Gorges Dam.
As China's Yangtze River Basin enters its flood season, the upper reaches of the Three Gorges Dam are seeing the highest flood levels since 1940. 

Weather China has issued its highest warning for flooding and rain for the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River to Guizhou.

The rainfall is expected to peak on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Flood warnings have been issued in more than 10 provinces and municipalities in China, including Guizhou, Chongqing, Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai, and Guangxi.

The Chongqing Municipal Hydrological Monitoring Station on Monday issued its first red alert flood warning in 80 years for the Qijiang River.

It is predicted that there will be severe flooding in the area within 8 hours.

As many as 400 million lives may be at risk as torrential rain in China threatens the world’s largest dam....MORE 
When the dam was under construction the senior engineers realized the footings were slipping, which would sooner or later cause the dam to fail.

They appealed to a gentleman I will refer to as The Professor to save the project and more-than-likely their lives as such a failure would not be tolerated by the Politburo and/or any survivors downstream.

The Professor took on the rescue and came up with multiple workarounds the engineers would have to immediately implement to ensure both the completion of the project and the long-term safety of the people in the flood plain. 

I met him when he was visiting his daughter and son-in-law.
He would sing to me in German. 

And from the Global Times, the Party line, June 22:
Three Gorges Dam ‘not at risk of collapse,’ safe for heavy rainfall: experts
Chinese experts have dismissed rumors hyped by some Western media that the Three Gorges Dam, the world's biggest hydropower project, is at risk of collapse, noting the dam is intact and has spare capacity to hold the current inflows of water after southern parts of China experienced heavy rainfall and the Three Gorges reservoir's water level exceeded the flood control line.

Since China entered the flood season in June, southern and eastern regions of the country have experienced heavy and extensive rainfall. Floods have affected more than 2 million people and caused economic losses of billions of yuan.

The water level in China's massive Three Gorges Reservoir reached 147 meters on Saturday, two meters above the flood warning line. Meanwhile, the inflow increased to 26,500 cubic meters per second from 20,500 cubic meters per second on the previous day.

The alarming water level gave rise to rumors that the dam is under structural strain and nearby residents should evacuate. Some Western media hyped claims that the dam is at risk of collapse, which was not new in their discredit of the project.

Guo Xun, a research fellow at the Institute of Engineering Mechanics at the China Earthquake Administration in Beijing, refuted the rumors and speculation, saying that the dam is capable of holding far larger inflows than it is seeing now.

The dam is designed to meet "once-in-a-millennium" water level at 175 meters or flow up to 70,000 cubic meters per second. Currently, the 147-meter water level and 26,500 cubic meters per second levels are absolutely safe for the dam to bear, Guo told the Global Times on Monday....

Here's hoping The Professor got everything right.