Dams and Landslides

China works flat out to prevent dam flood

The Times Online
May 21, 2008

A dam that was created by landslides during the earthquake could flood out residents in Sichuan province, The Times reports.

Chinese engineers are working round the clock to prevent a collapse. Jane Macartney and Hattie Garlick write:The swelling lake that has risen to 70m (230ft) would threaten, if it burst, the five million residents of Mianyang county, home to the second-biggest city in southwestern Sichuan province. It is expected that the water will be released to avert a collapse.
David Petley, Wilson Professor in Hazard and Risk at Durham University, said that if the water were to seep through and erode the barrier, it could send bricks, trees and other debris downstream. “You can’t be sure that the town below would be destroyed, but it would certainly be a very dangerous place to be,” he said.

One plan is to build up earth barriers halfway across the Beichuan river, at several points downstream from the reservoir. These barriers would divert the water, slowing its flow and reducing the danger to communities in its path. Once these were ready, some or all of the water could be released over the next day or two, possibly by blasting away part of the landslide.

More than 2,000 people were moved at the weekend from a village in Hongyuang township after the blocked Qingzhu river burst its banks and began flooding their homes.


Categories: Dams and Landslides

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