Flooding in China Threatens Millions

Can Three Gorges Dam withstand the storms?

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Devastating tropical storms have instigated landslides and a series of floods in mainland China--and more are still on the way. State officials are working around the clock on the massive, 8-million-person evacuation from the flood-ravaged regions. Officials are also monitoring the rising tides that threaten to breach the massive Three Gorges Dam. Here are the latest angles to what is so far the worst onslaught of flooding since 1998:

  • Evacuations Prevented Casualties  reports United Press International. "Government information indicated flood waters inundated 27 provinces and municipalities, affecting 110 million people and forcing 8.1 million to relocate, China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported."
  • Worst Death Toll In a Decade  due to tropical storms writes Chi-Chi Zhang for the Associated Press. "Flooding, particularly along the Yangtze River Basin has overwhelmed reservoirs, swamped towns and cities, and caused landslides that have smothered communities, including toppling 645,000 houses. The Three Gorges Dam faced its highest levels ever this week and water breached the massive dam."
  • Test's Durability of Massive Dam  with storm water only 20 meters below maximum capacity, reports the BBC. "The flow of the water overnight was the fastest ever recorded, at 70,000 cubic metres per second."
  • 'Three Gorges' Softens the Blow  of the flooding, observes Shai Oster at The Wall Street Journal. "Flood control was one of the primary reasons for building the Three Gorges Dam. More than a million people were relocated to construct the world's largest dam, but critics say that the dam doesn't fix soil erosion, deforestation and the loss of wetlands that worsened flooding downstream."
  • More Storms Coming  writes CNN Beijing Bureau Chief Jaime FlorCruz. "More than 230,000 people have been evacuated from the city of Guangan in Sichuan, after the worst flooding there in 160 years. There's no power, no clean water, and the only way around is by boat."
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