China's Three Gorges Dam not damaged by quake | world | Hindustan Times
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China's Three Gorges Dam not damaged by quake

world Updated: May 12, 2008 17:14 IST

AFP
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China's Three Gorges Dam was not damaged by a major earthquake that rocked southwestern Sichuan province on Monday, state media reported.

"There were no signs that the earthquake has affected the dam, and everything is going as usual," Hu Xinge, an executive with the group that operates the dam, told the official Xinhua news agency.

The dam, the biggest hydro-electrical project in the world, spans the Yangtze River, China's longest, as part of a controversial project to provide power and flood protection to a vast swathe of central China.

The dam, in Hubei province, is about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) from the epicentre of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit neighbouring Sichuan on Monday afternoon.

Critics have long warned that building the concrete damn in a known earthquake zone is a recipe for trouble. But China's engineers have been equally adamant that the structure has been built to withstand any quake.

Opponents have also warned that the 22-billion-dollar project, scheduled to go fully operational in 2009, would trap pollution and silt, and disrupt the lives of millions of people.