World’s largest dam braces for largest-ever flood


Beijing:  China’s Three Gorges Dam, the world’s biggest hydroelectric station, built on the mighty Yangtze River, is set to receive its largest flood peak since it became operational in 2003, testing its strength.

The reservoir is ready to confront the challenge by coordinating with dams at its upper stream to retain the flood water Thursday, Three Gorges Corp said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Three Gorges project is a multi-functional water-control system, consisting of a 2,309-metre-long and 185-metre-high dam, a five-tier ship lock on the north and south, and 34 turbo-generators with a combined generating capacity of 22.5 million kilowatts.

In every flood season, the dam’s strength comes into focus warranting the dam’s officials to assure public about its efficacy and strength.

The latest hydrometeorological forecasts estimated the inflow flood peak of the Three Gorges project will reach 73,000 cubic metres per second at 8 am on Thursday, the largest volume since it was built in 2003, state-run Global Times quoted the statement.

To confront the flood peak, dams in the upstream of the Yangtze River – including Wudongde, Xiluodu and Xiangjiaba dams, also managed by the Three Gorges Corp – will work together under “elaborate deployment and operation” to jointly retain the flood, the Three Gorges Corp said in a statement.

The dams will sufficiently exert the flood defence function of a cascade reservoir within the basin, and are expected to ease the flood defence pressure for Southwest China’s Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality, as well as the Three Gorges project, it said.

It is estimated the inflow water peak will be cut down to 68,000 cubic metres per second from 70,000, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.

China’s Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) on Wednesday raised the emergency response for flood control to level II, the second-highest in the response system, as heavy rainfall lashed stretches along the Yangtze River.

The 6,300-km-long Yangtze is the longest river in Asia and the third-longest in the world.

The upper reaches of the Yangtze River have been battered by the largest floods since 1981, according to the ministry.

China has a four-tier flood control emergency response system, with level I representing the most severe.