The 7.0-magnitude earthquake in southwest China’s Sichuan province earlier this month, and a devastating 2008 quake in the same province, are likely linked to the region’s dam-building program, says expert.
Beijing-based media group, Caixin, reports on Chinese geologist Fan Xiao’s research supporting a link between a 6.5-magnitude earthquake in China’s Yunnan Province in early August and the filling of dam reservoirs in the area. Several Probe International studies are cited.
(February 3, 2014) Chinese geologist Fan Xiao investigates once again if the impoundment of a large dam reservoir triggered a series of earthquakes in the seismically active southwest region of China? Based on data collected by China Seismic Information (CSI), Mr. Fan says, ‘Yes’. Not only were the November 22, 2013, seismic events recorded in Sichuan, China not naturally occurring or isolated incidents, he says the region should prepare for stronger, “even destructive earthquakes” as a result of further impoundment.
(April 29, 2013) Understanding the forces behind China’s magnitude-7 earthquake in Sichuan Province more than a week ago should sound warning bells. Patricia Adams digs deep into the country’s recent rash of earthquakes in southwestern China and finds the region’s seismic risk is increasingly man-made.
(April 22, 2013) China’s construction of huge dams increases the probability of earthquakes, Fan Xiao warns.
(March 12, 2013) China may be the world’s biggest cyberspace aggressor, but security specialists say China’s computer-controlled infrastructure is more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and to malfunctioning domestic software than are Western systems. Read Patricia Adams’ piece in the Huffington Post on why China’s dams are vulnerable to both.
(April 4, 2012) A new report finds more than 130 large dams being built in western China could trigger disaster — earthquakes, even tsunamis — due to their construction in seismic hazard zones.
(November 21, 2011) Matt Ridley, writing about dams and induced seismicity in the Wall Street Journal, cites Probe International’s reports on the consequences of building the Three Gorges Dam: the Yangtze is drying up downstream, and seismic activity has increased 30-fold.
(June 1, 2011) A study by seismologists at the China Seismological Bureau indicates that the massive Three Gorges dam on the Yangtze River caused a “significant” increase in seismic activity along the dam’s reservoir.
(May 27, 2011) When China’s State Council announced there were “urgent problems” with the Three Gorges Dam, Chinese voices – both powerful and common – started to question its role in seemingly unrelated natural disasters, reports Bloomberg.com. In one both dramatic and comical example of a trend towards airing negative views, the popular, nationalist Global Times quoted dam expert, Zhang Boting, who offered this unreassuring gem: “After the construction of the project, there were thousands of minor earthquakes, which actually helped release built-up seismic energy in that area and reduced the possibility of big earthquakes happening in the future.”
(May 19, 2011) Amid power shortages and potential catastrophe, China admits to failings in the Three Gorges Dam. Probe International Fellow Dai Qing responds from Beijing.
(May 18, 2011) China’s drought has caused the Three Gorges reservoir level to drop precipitously, crippling the mighty Three Gorges Dam. Shipping on the Yangtze River has now halted, power generation has been compromised, and geological hazards are heightened.
(May 12, 2011) Chinese farmer Liu Jiuchuan is perhaps an unlikely supporter of activist and artist Ai Weiwei, whose detention last month on suspicion of economic crimes sparked uproar around the world.
(March 25, 2011) The April edition of the popular technology, engineering, and science news magazine, IEEE Spectrum, describes how “green” projects — geothermal energy, hydropower and carbon sequestration — may induce seismic activity.
(March 25, 2011) The Chinese government will launch a campaign to map the country’s active fault lines in the wake of strong earthquakes in Japan and Myanmar.