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Chinese Official: Chinese dam failure rate averages 68 per year.

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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 06:39 PM
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Chinese Official: Chinese dam failure rate averages 68 per year.

As the debate about the Three Gorges dam rages on, on June 1, E. Jingping, Secretary General of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters and Vice Minister of Water Resources, said that the safety of reservoirs continues to remain a challenge and is a weak link in this year's flood prevention efforts. As of last year, an average of 68 reservoir dams collapse every year in China.

He said, "The extent of casualties and economic cost from a dam collapsing possibly surpasses that of a natural disaster like a tsunami or a strong earthquake, and is no less damaging than a local war."

At present, China has 85,160 reservoirs. From 1954 to 2005, a total of 3,486 reservoir dams collapsed. Each year, many reservoirs experience flood damage. In 2004 alone, 7,286 reservoirs experienced flood damage and are in need of repair.

According to China Newsweek reports, among the 85,000 plus reservoirs in China, over 30,000 (35 percent) have problems but continue to be operational, constituting a major hidden danger in water resource facilities.

Now, in China, not one province, city, or district is free of dangerous reservoirs. In the provinces of Hunan, Guangdong, Sichuan, Shandong, Yunnan, Hubei, and Jiangxi, each province has more than 1,600 dangerous reservoirs. In Guangdong Province, there are 3,685 dangerous reservoirsa total of 55 percent of all reservoirs in the province...

...In the world's record of disasters due to human technical failures, the 1975 collapse of China's Banqiao reservoir dam in Henan province ranked first, which is higher than the Chernobyl disaster in the former Soviet Union. In a matter of days, 26 dams collapsed one after another, which resulted in massive flooding in nine counties and one town. More than 100,000 corpses were retrieved when the flooding receded. Deaths due to the repercussions of grain shortages and infectious diseases amounted to 140,000; while the total number of deaths recorded was 240,000. This death toll was comparable to the China's Tangshan earthquake in the following year, and the damage dealt was worse than the collapse of Egypt's Aswan reservoir dam.
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:08 PM
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1. I would be interested to know the age & materials of the dams.
That is simply an incredible number.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:16 PM
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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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