Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fwd: China's quake: the dam factor

i am inclined to believe that the environmental damage caused by the
dam is not fully understood. while the engineering feat by the chinese
is laudable, we also need to question the motivations and the
implications of the dam construction. do not expect chindu to raise
this issue any time soon.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Girish

As Chinese officials continue to grapple with the devastating
earthquake that has killed tens of thousands of people, they have also
been seeking to to reassure the world that the nearby behemoth Three
Gorges Dam is safe.

Critics of the dam have long painted a bleak picture of mass death and
destruction in the Yangtze River region should the dam fail. They say
its placement in an earthquake-prone area is one of its most dangerous

Now, there is speculation that the world's largest and perhaps most
controversial dam was a factor in causing the killer Sichuan province
quake. Scientists from around the world have long theorized that the
sheer weight of the reservoir created by the dam could cause seismic
shifts in the area. A recent article in Scientific American explained
the issue and said 19 earthquakes in China over the past 50 years
could be blamed on dams.

Though no one has directly fingered Three Gorges as the reason for the
earthquake, Probe International, a Canadian non-profit that monitors
China's dams and their environmental and humanitarian fallout, raises
the possibility.

"Whether reservoir-induced seismicity is behind last week's earthquake
should be urgently investigated before the Three Gorges reservoir is
filled to its maximum height," said Patricia Adams, the group's
executive director.

1 comment:

Dirt Digger said...

That is an interesting theory on earthquakes. There is a great article by Phillip Williams on how the dam builders underestimated the safety of building the dam on earthquake prone regions --