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Huge flood peak passes Three Gorges Dam

(Xinhua)

08:21, September 04, 2012

YICHANG, Hubei, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- A flood peak whose scale was not seen in the same period in two decades smoothly passed the Three Gorges Dam on Monday evening.

Water flow reached 51,500 cubic meters per second at about 8 p.m. after heavy downpours hit the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, where the dam is located, said Xiao Ge, an official at the dam's communication center.

The flood peak, the highest in the same period since 1992 but lower than the biggest flood peak in nine years that had passed the dam in July, raised the water level in the dam to 155 meters on Monday.

The water level is expected to be pushed further to 160 meters in three days, Xiao said.

So far, the flood has not affected the navigation passing the dam's ship dock, the dam's operators said.

The world's largest water hydropower project, the Three Gorges Project consists of a dam, a five-tier ship dock and a total of 32 hydropower turbo-generators.

The project generates electricity, controls flooding by providing storage space and adjusts shipping capacity on the river. Built to tame annual Yangtze floods and generate power, the dam is capable of holding 22 billion cubic meters of water.

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