Three Gorges dam takes the strain

China has blown up the temporary wall used to hold back Yangtze river during the construction of the Three Gorges dam.

    The massive explosions caused no geological disturbances

    The dam, which is 2.3km long, now holds back the full force of the river and begins its role in controlling the floods that have regularly damaged China's farming heartland.

    Enough explosives to bring down 400 ten-storey buildings were used during the destruction of the temporary dam, known as a cofferdam, Chinese state media reported.

    The temporary dam was brought down in 12 seconds by a series of explosions using 191.3 tonnes of explosives planted beneath the water.

    Engineers said the operation was a success and would not cause any geological damage.  

    Li Yong'an, general manager of China Yangtze River Three Gorges Development Corporation, said: "Blasting away the concrete cofferdam ... will spark off no severe geological disasters."

    Construction of the dam, which will be the world's largest hydroelectricity project, was completed last month, but its power-generation facilities will not be finished until 2008.

    It will eventually produce 22.4 million kW of electricity – enough to light up Shanghai.

    More than 100 people died during the $25 billion construction project, state media reported, and 1.3 million local residents have been, or will be, relocated.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.