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China admits Three Gorges Dam deformed under flood pressure

Not good: Earlier this week the Chinese government finally admitted what a number of independent writers have noted, that the gigantic Three Gorges Dam has deformed from the record flood waters that are pressing against it this year.

The official Xinhua News Agency quoted the operator of the the world’s largest hydroelectric gravity dam as saying that some nonstructural, peripheral parts of the dam had buckled.

The dam was a pet project of the late Premier Li Peng and a monumental pride of the nation when it blocked and diverted Asia’s largest river in 1997.

The deformation occurred last Saturday when the flood from western provinces including Sichuan and Chongqing along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River peaked at a record-setting 61,000 cubic meters per second, according to China Three Gorges Corporation, a state-owned enterprise that manages the dam and the sprawling power plant underneath it.

The company noted that parts of the dam had “deformed slightly,” displacing some external structures, and seepage into the main outlet walls had also been reported throughout the 18 hours on Saturday and Sunday when water was discharged though its outlets.

Not surprisingly the Chinese government also insisted that the dam is really okay and there is nothing to worry about. And we trust them implicitly, don’t we?

Now for the punchline: If the dam does not hold the city most threatened by it is Wuhan, home to the COVID-19 virus that has panicked the globe.

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  • janyuary

    Well … no matter how you swing it, there’s obviously some bad feng shui going on there …!

    It must be hard to be Chinese anywhere near a large city; when government is the owner of industry, government will likely follow ZERO environmental courtesies such as those in the U.S., reasonable requirements that industries from fishboats to factories engage in reasonable clean up by not pumping junk into waterways and bays. I remember how ugly things were in the 60s before such basic regs, compared to today. Before and after pics of San Pedro Harbor would be telling.

    Chinese folks who would protest having to live in an environmental cesspool that we Western world folks long since resolved, protest against not private business, but the Owner of the Factories, a tyrannical government who is their employer and God. Like I say, I’m glad I’m not Chinese.

  • LocalFluff

    I just watched some YT videos from (online only?) news channels and others. Chinese authorities, at some level, have conceded that the dam is leaking. Under the waterline. Under the concrete blocks. It is difficult for me to assess the forces involved there. Are the blocks lifting??? Maybe the ground is giving in to the pressure of the high water table. Water flowing under the blocks should increase their mobility.

    National Chinese TV says that they have normal floods like this every year and that the landscape is very beautiful now that it is under water… 100s of millions of people look out of the window and know that the regime is lying. That is desperate propaganda, trying to keep people in other parts of the country calm.

    One guy said that the upstream area received as much rain in one hour as the rainiest city in the US receives in one month. And the rainy season normally continues to October. And even if this rain has been a 60 year record, the dam looks so damaged that it can only be a matter of time until it gives. If it cannot be somehow repaired.

  • V-Man

    I wonder what will happen if (when?) the dam let go. Not the environmental or human damage, that’s easy to foresee (alas). But what about the political damage? Will the CCP collapse, beg for help, go to war… something else?

  • Ray Van Dune

    My understanding is that the dam is built of a number of gigantic concrete blocks that are sitting one atop the other, but are not bound together. How the hell do you repair something like that?

    “Too big to fix”?

  • mpthompson

    This is a pretty good video from a few years ago on how seepage leads to dam failure. If the Three Gorges Dam were to fail, I presume this is the most likely scenario.

  • Andrew_W

    From LocalFluff’s link: If it bursts: 400 million people downstream, incl Beijing and Shanghai.

    Shanghai yes, Beijing not even close, completely different catchments.
    Such a starkly false claim casts doubt on the other claims the author makes.

  • Steve Richter

    so they will release the water and relieve the buildup. I think people in the West are aware of how weak we are compared to a very productive, assertive and united Chinese people. Yeah, we are hoping for a catastrophe in China. But that does not solve any of the systemic problems facing the West. Low birth rate, an increasingly disconnected and ignorant young population, growing national disunity.

  • pzatchok

    Contrary to some beliefs China is trying to clean up its environmental act.

    Its all part of their Social Policy.
    Both people and companies need Social points. If you do what the government wants like installing new modern western standard fire suppression systems you get good points.
    If you talk bad about the government you lose points.

  • pzatchok

    They can not release the water build up now.

    If they drop the water all the way down they lose pressure for power generation.

    Its too late. Once it starts to leak through or under the cement blocks dirt gets washed into the seam. The dirt never lets the blocks come back together and eventually the blocks slip and fail.

    Anyone who has even worked cement before knows of something called a cold seam. It when you stop pouring the cement and let it harden even a little then start again. It will never be a single continuous piece of concrete.
    Water will eventually work its way into the seam.

    The Hover Dam is one continuous pour so its all one solid concrete block. In fact it is just now finally drying and reaching maximum strength.

  • pzatchok

    If you admire a government that has as much control over its people as China does your ……well lets just say your not correct.

  • Steve Richter

    admiration has nothing to do with it. I do not even think it is about the Chinese government. I think the Chinese people see themselves as united, with a history and a future as a people. And the great power that has kept them in check, the US, is rapidly losing any sense of common purpose.

  • wayne

    One giant communist slave state run by 90 million CCP true-believer’s.

    ‘Thermonuclear strike’

  • MDN

    I love the statement that it was OK because only “non-structural” parts of the dam were deforming! How exactly is it that that works???

  • LocalFluff

    Gregory must’ve meant Nanjing.

    Steve Richter
    I hope that the CCP hangs their Winnie-the-Pooh emperor now already because of his failing grand plans, and that the dam can somehow be secured. Taiwan and Singapore are not a threat to the West. Chinese love to make money, they hate Xi Jinping’s neomaoism and aggressive foreign politics that stands in their way.

  • LocalFluff

    CCP is focusing on stopping the leaks.
    Not the leaks IN the dam, but the leaks ABOUT the dam.

  • pzatchok

    China is not as united as you think.
    The people there are just like the people everyplace else on the planet.

    When the CCP owned and controled everything totally China had a very small economy and little world influence.
    To change this they had to adopt a more socialist economy and a more open society. This brings a problem. Democracy. There are three members of the CCP, those that joined to keep their job, those that joined to get rich and those that joined to gain political power.
    Just how long until those that are rich exert their influence over those who joined to gain political power? At that point the rich are in charge, and in order to gain more riches they will work to gain more domestic customers. With a growing middle class in China they will want a more western education for their children.
    Give it 20 years and China will be just like America or Europe.

  • LocalFluff

    Your analysis is very elaborate and interesting. Theoretically.
    But what will actually happen is the stupid guys making major mistakes.

  • Edward

    pzatchok wrote: “The Hover Dam is one continuous pour so its all one solid concrete block. In fact it is just now finally drying and reaching maximum strength.

    This is misleading. Forms were used in order to allow sections of the dam to cure before adding more concrete around it. This allowed the dam to cure enough to be usable sooner, rather than wait for a century, and the center would never finish its cure.

    Because concrete expands and contracts in the heat, one continuous pour was impossible, so instead builders placed the concrete in interlocking blocks and cooled the blocks with pipes.

    They were continuously pouring concrete, but in various blocks at various times.

  • Gene Shipp

    They should spray a bunch of soap on Wuhan.
    I wonder what is downstream of Wuhan….

  • Andi

    For major cities, looks like nanjing and Shanghai

  • LocalFluff

    This is sourced from I dunno on the line. But it doesn’t sound any much good. Not much. Not really. Not much again.
    “- Let’s do that dam thing again!
    – Sure, why not?”

  • wayne

    Great video! Love me some Epoch Times actual news-reporting.

    Typical commie master-mind Statist utopianism + age-old corruption and cheap-cement.

    Everclear –
    “Everything To Everyone” (acoustic)

  • LocalFluff

    Your “acoustic” links are always horrible. Like my chess teacher keeps telling me:
    “- Horrible. Terrible! Horrible again. And then worse.”
    That you make me think of him is already a bad review. Here’s my revanche!

  • Henry Barth

    I wish the writers would learn the difference between ‘concrete’ and ‘cement.’

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