Huge Chinese dam experiences big floodJuly 24th, 2012 - 3:40 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, July 24 (IANS) The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydropower project, witnessed its biggest flood this year Tuesday when water from the Yangtze river gushed at 69,000 cubic metres per second into the dam’s reservoir.
The dam is working to take the edge off the fierce flood and reduce its impact on the river’s lower reaches by storing at least 26,000 cubic metres of flood water every second, the Yangtze river flood control and drought relief headquarters said in a press release.
Thanks to the dam’s buffer effect, water outflow from the dam currently measures 43,000 cubic metres per second, reported Xinhua.
It said the force of the flood has far exceeded that of the most devastating Yangtze flood in recent memory, which caused a large damage in 1998. The flow rate for that year’s flood was over 50,000 cubic metres per second.
The ongoing flood is, therefore, the biggest challenge the dam has faced since it started storing water, said authorities.
Boat traffic in the area has been suspended. All of the Three Gorges’ ship locks were closed Monday night, forcing more than 700 vessels to drop anchor.
The Three Gorges Project consists of a dam, a five-tier ship dock and a total of 32 hydropower turbo-generators.
The project generates electricity, controls flooding by providing storage space and adjusts shipping capacity on the river.
The dam reservoir stores flood water in summer and releases it in the dry season to ease droughts, particularly in downstream rice-growing areas.
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