Torrential rains have caused water levels at China’s massive Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River to once again rise to record levels, according to news reports Saturday.
China has been hit with a series of floods over the past year that have killed hundreds of people and displaced millions mainly in the center of the country and in the southwest.
Rainfall in the Yangtze basin has been twice as heavy as normal this year and resulting floods have caused at least $26 billion in economic damages and affected as many as 63 million people, Reuters reported Saturday.
About 75,000 cubic meters per second of water flowed in from the Yangtze river Thursday, pushing the reservoir’s depths almost 20 meters higher than the official warning level.
“They will do everything they can to prevent the dam from overtopping,” said Desiree Tullos, a professor at Oregon State University who studies the Three Gorges project.
“An overtopping dam is a worst-case scenario because it produces significant damage … and can lead to the entire thing collapsing.”
The Three Gorges Project was completed in 2012. It was aimed at both generating power and reining in the ferocious Yangtze, the cause of many terrible floods in Chinese history.