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China: 3 Gorges Dam braces for decades' largest floods

Opened in 2003, world's largest hydroelectric dam faces critical floods on Yangtze River since 1981

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 19.08.2020
China: 3 Gorges Dam braces for decades' largest floods

ANKARA

The world's largest electricity-producing dam in China is bracing for the country's largest floods in decades, local media reported. 

China is witnessing heavy rainfall this season, triggering floods in most southern parts of the country and increasing the water level of the Yangtze River which is spanned by the Three Gorges, Wudongde, Xiluodu and Xiangjiaba dams.

The Yangtze has been witnessing its largest floods since 1981 due to the incessant downpour, with floods forcing authorities to evacuate more than 100,000 of the region's residents.

Based in China's central Hubei province, Three Gorges Corp said the dam was "ready to confront the challenge" posed by the deluge by coordinating with the other dams upstream to retain floodwater, the daily Global Times reported.

This is the first time since 2003 that the giant dam was opened due to its facing such a huge challenge of floods.

The floods in the Yangtze River has also raised concern over potential damage to the 1,200-year-old world heritage site of the Leshan Giant Buddha. The 71-meter (233-feet) statue is located in the southwestern Sichuan province. The rising water level in rivers has pushed muddy floodwater to its toes for the first time since 1949.

Hydro-meteorological estimates show the Three Gorges Dam will face water levels of at least 73,000 cubic meters per second Thursday morning -- the largest since 2003.

"To confront the flood peak, dams in the upstream of the Yangtze River -- including Wudongde, Xiluodu and Xiangjiaba dams -- will work together under elaborate deployment and operation to jointly retain the flood," Three Gorges Corp said. All three dams are managed by Three Gorges Corp.

China's President Xi Jinping also visited the flood-stricken residents in eastern China's Anhui province.

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