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Reply #2: The Banqiao dam failure, the deadliest human caused disaster in history, [View All]

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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. The Banqiao dam failure, the deadliest human caused disaster in history,
Edited on Mon Aug-14-06 07:17 PM by NNadir
involved the serial failure of 62 dams in a single night.

One of the causes of the failure had to do with "right wing opportunists," who criticized the dam construction in 1958. The Banqiao dam was 17 years old when it failed.

...Once the Banqiao and Shimantan Dams were completed many, many smaller dams were built. Initially the smaller dams were built in the mountains, but in 1958 Vice Premier Tan Zhenlin decreed that the dam building should be extended into the plains of China. The Vice Premier also asserted that primacy should be given to water accumulation for irrigation. A hydrologist named Chen Xing objected to this policy on the basis that it would lead to water logging and alkinization of farm land due to a high water table produced by the dams. Not only were the warnings of Chen Xing ignored but political officials changed his design for the largest reservoir on the plains. Chen Xing, on the basis of his expertise as a hydrologist, recommended twelve sluice gates but this was reduced to five by critics who said Chen was being too conservative. There were other projects where the number of sluice gates was arbitrarily reduced significantly. Chen Xing was sent to Xinyang.

When problems with the water system developed in 1961 a new Party official in Henan brought Chen Xing back to help solve the problems. But Chen Xing criticized elements of the Great Leap Forward and was purged as a "right-wing opportunist..."
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