Massive Rockslide Threatens Three Gorges Dam

By Wen Long, Epoch Times
April 9, 2009 6:04 pm Last Updated: April 10, 2009 11:47 am

According to the Chongqing Evening News, due to recent storms and fluctuations in the Three Gorges reservoir’s water level, a rocky mass of 127 million cubic feet in Guling Township, Yunyang County is at risk of sliding into the Yangtze River. This could block half of the Yangtze River. The county has declared a state of emergency, and has restricted access to the region.

According to Deputy Director Chu of Guling Township, the rocky mass measures 980 feet long, 2,000 feet wide, and is 65 feet thick. If it does slip into the river, it will block the river and become a huge safety risk for boats.

Last year, experts predicted that the risk of geological disasters would be high during April and May of this year.

According to the county’s geological and environmental monitoring station, since March 10, the mass has shifted its position by one centimeter a day. On April 1, geological disaster prevention expert Huang Jiayu visited the area and said that the risk of the mass disengaging is high. The situation has been exacerbated by dropping water levels at the reservoir and significant rainfall.

Problems from the Beginning

Former professor and renowned hydropower expert Huang Wanli from Tsinghua University had written six letters to the regime in opposition to the Three Gorges Dam project during the planning and professional discussion stages. He said that based on the natural geology, the dam would stop the flow of water and sand, thus causing heavy sedimentation in the Chongqing area and even affect Luzhou, a prefecture in Sichuan province, and Hechuan, a district in Chongqing province. As a result, crop fields in Sichuan would be damaged. Currently there is insufficient equipment to measure the accumulation of sediment over the long term.

Pressure from the weight of the captured water could also cause geological shifts in the land and lead to earthquakes.

From the perspective of national defense, the Three Gorges dam is a security risk, even setting aside the risk of being attacked. Professor Huang predicted that the dam would be eventually removed.

Professor Huang also said that initial published reports supporting the construction of the dam were full of errors. He urged the government to re-examine the studies and hold open discussions on specific topics.

In 1986, the central regime and the State Council held a series of discussions on the Three Gorges project. Professor Huang was not invited to participate. Despite his numerous letters to the regime explaining the detriments of the project, he has received no response.

Read original article in Chinese.