Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, February 07, 2002
China Counts down to Three Gorges Geological Hazard Control
China will start the count down for the mitigation of geological hazards projects in the dam area of the world's largest hydro-power project underway at the Three Gorges. According to official figures, over 70 occurrences of landslides, collapses and mud-rock flows along the reservoir banks have been reported since 1982, which brought heavy economic losses.
China will start the count down for the mitigation of geological hazards projects in the dam area of the world's largest hydro-power project underway at the Three Gorges, according to a government schedule, which came out Tuesday.
The Comprehensive Planning for the Geological Hazards and Mitigation Projects of Landslides and Collapses in the Three Gorges Reservoir Engineering Areas has just been approved by the State Council, announced the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources (LRM) in Beijing Wednesday.
The 10-year planning will be implemented to meet the two damming deadlines of the world's largest reservoir respectively in 2003 and 2009.
The nearest target of the plan requires emergent works to treat all unstable sites along the embankments of the dam area which will be submerged under 135 meters of water in the first reservoir damming, scheduled for June 2003.
China appropriated 4 billion yuan last year from the special fund for the construction of the Three Gorges Project to finance the hazard mitigation projects. Prior to this, a 600 million yuan fund had been in place for the same purpose.
The ministry's geological survey has discovered more than 2,490 slide masses and 90 mud-rock flow claughes in the dam area.
"The total hazardous landslide deposits at the Three Gorges are estimated at 3 billion cubic meters. They will be brought under control with the implementation of the planning," said Li Lierong, director of the Geological Environment Department with LRM.
He said that the ecosystem in the dam area is fragile, with a loose soil texture and frequent occurrence of floods and rainstorms. The reservoir damming may cause large-scale landslides if hidden geological hazards are not taken care of in advance.
Heavy economic losses bought by Landslides & collapses
According to official figures, over 70 occurrences of landslides, collapses and mud-rock flows along the reservoir banks have been reported since 1982, which took some 400 lives and brought heavy economic losses.
Shou Jiahua, vice minister of land and resources, said that landslides and collapses are sporadic accidents, which need an effective monitoring system to send out early alarms.
She said that China is relying on both professional geological hazard monitoring technology and public reporting networks in the geological hazard control.
China has introduced advanced geo-monitoring technology for the hydro-power project since the 1980s, including GPS network and remote-sensing technology. The LRM has switched on a geological monitoring and alarm network covering 19 counties in the reservoir area which has been operating since 1999.
Three Billion Yuan Invested for Geologic Hazards at Three Gorges
The Chinese government has decided to pool some 4 billion yuan of funds for treating geologic hazards at the Three Gorges in the next three years to ensure the safety of the world's biggest water conservation project being built at the region.
The treatment of geologic hazards, especially landslides at the river banks, has been considered an important part of the whole project which has drawn great concerns from the central government.
Premier Zhu Rongji recently made a remark on the significance of the hazard treatment stressing that it is a crucial project, which concerns the safety of local people's life and property as well as the benefits of their posterity.
A report made by the Yangtze River Water Resources Committee in July suggested that there are all together 1,302 hazard-prone areas in the dam area.