For a story which bodes so terribly for China and the world as a whole, especially given the current challenges facing the Chinese people, the fact that there is even discussion of the failure of the 3 Gorges Dam suggests the unthinkable may be at risk of occurring. The colossal piece of infrastructure is said to have cost over $20billionUSD, and was officially completed in 2006, with the hydroelectric power plant component completed later in 2012.
Initially, the 3 Gorges Dam was touted by the Chinese as capable of withstanding a ‘1000 year flood’. This was officially rewritten to suggest protection against 100 year flood, and in recent times it has seemingly been downgraded by authorities again, suggesting that its ability to withstand above normal rainfalls may not be a sure thing. This poses a terrifying scenario not only for the Chinese people, 400 million of whom would be directly or indirectly affected, but for the entire world population. The current ‘danger level’ of a major river feeding the dam is said to be 27.5 meters, and as of July 21st, the Nikkei Asian Review reported that the water level had reached 29.7meters. Local authorities subsequently released their highest flood alert for the surrounding regions, and with several nuclear power facilities located within a potential flood-zone, the outcomes of a full-scale failure are truly unthinkable. Assuming the nuclear facilities remain unaffected, food and medicine production is centred around the downstream region, posing gigantic humanitarian concern for the millions directly supplied by the region.
Terrifyingly, massive rainfall has continued throughout the affected area unabated in recent weeks, and a reported 1 METER of further rainfall is expected within the direct catchment area between the 29th and 31st of July. The 3-Gorges Dam’s purported ‘safe levels’ have, by some accounts, been exceeded by more than 10 meters,a nd the opening of flood-gates to release pressure has already caused massive flooding in downstream counties, including all important Wuhan. Given the unbelievably disastrous effect that a failure of the Dam would have on the Chinese population, the far from discreet lack of public information is further compounding concerns that the secretive CCP is hiding the facts, and that concerningly, major western news outlets seem uninterested in actively reporting the danger.
With the claims of imminent failure being a frequent occurrence, there was earlier this year an odd stroke of what cynics would regard as financial chicanery, assuming failure of the dam was indeed even the slightest possibility. The group effectively responsible for the ownership of the massive piece of infrastructure reportedly sought to raise $25billion Yuan ($3.5 BillionUSD) via a share sale in April, in what will likely have marked one of the country’s largest public offerings of 2020. We can safely say that the CCP would surely not seek to raise funds via a share sale, for an asset they are aware is incapable of continuing its planned investment life.
The weather forecasts for the catchment areas, and surrounds is worrying at best. Thunderstorms and flash-flooding is expected over the next 10-14 days, and the already significantly strained region is preparing to absorb a completely untested volume of water. Read more…
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