The 2.4-kilometer dam, the largest in the world, has been the subject of much speculation recently after satellite imagery emerged to suggest that part of its frame is bowing. Should the dam breach or collapse, it would be a disaster of epic proportions, especially since there are believed to be numerous nuclear power plants in the below floodplains.
According to the Xinhua News Agency, which is run by the communist Chinese government, the Three Gorges Dam is, indeed, buckling, but supposedly only in parts of it that are considered peripheral and nonstructural.
Some of the dam's external structures had also been displaced, the CCP further admitted, resulting in seepage into the main outlet walls. But this seepage has since been remedied, the Chinese government claims.
The new deformation supposedly became apparent about a week ago when flood waters from the western Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Chongqing, located along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, peaked at about 61,000 cubic meters per second.
The Three Gorges Corporation, which controls and manages the dam, says that floodgates were deployed to hold as much water as possible from the 39.3 billion-cubic-meter reservoir, protecting downstream cities like Wuhan, the origin of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), from being deluged.
The official story is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Three Gorges Dam, even though parts of the structure are now misshapen. All metrics are reportedly in line with its design parameters, and it could even hold more water – up to twice the amount that came last Saturday – without a hitch.
Wang Hao, an authority on hydraulics from the Chinese Academy of Engineering who sits on the Ministry of Water Resources' Yangtze River Administration Commission, further claims that the more water the dam encounters, the stronger and more "rigid" it will be, though he did not explain the alleged science behind this.
Zhang Shuguang, director of the Three Gorges Corp.'s Hub Management Bureau recently made a similar claim, alleging that the Three Gorges Dam is impenetrable, and that nothing could topple it in the next 500 years.
Echoing what the designers of the Titanic once stated about their engineering feat, Zhang insists that the dam is 100 percent sound, and that none of the 12,000 sensors that have been fitted throughout its structure have ever once flashed "red" on the facility's central control panel.
The gravity dam, which is constructed of concrete, contains cement blocks that react with water to form a hard matrix, binding them all together. Zhang insists that the dam also contains structural redundancy that ensures all sections of the dam remain stable at all times, even if one section became compromised.
The dam's original designers claim that it was specifically designed to harness "cataclysmic" proportions of water coming from the Yangtze, including the kind that strike only once in, say, 10 centuries. The project was completed back in the late '90s to the tune of about $13.5 billion.
Such a cataclysmic event is reportedly happening right this moment as nearly all of the southern provinces below the Three Gorges Dam face unprecedented flooding from extreme rainstorms.
"About 95,000 residents have been evacuated before a 180 square kilometer floodwater diversion zone in Anhui province was used to regulate storm water runoff since Monday," reported the Asia Times.
For more related news, be sure to check out Collapse.news.
Sources for this article include: