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"Grim situation" at Three Gorges Dam

05-24-2010 08:28 BJT

BEIJING, May 24 -- The Ministry of Land and Resources has called for increased efforts to prevent and control potential hazards, such as landslides, in the Three Gorges Dam area as the flood season approaches.

The dam area is currently facing a "grim situation" in trying to prevent and control the potential dangers, Wang Min, vice-minister of Land and Resources, was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying.

After the water level of the Three Gorges reservoir rose to 175 meters last September, 97 sections of bank collapsed and 2,000 people were moved, according to the Ministry.

Wang said that since Chongqing municipality, where the majority of the hydroelectricity project is located, had suffered severe rainstorms and gales this month, efforts to prevent and control potential hazards would be formidable.

Though the dam area has yet to enter the flood season, which is usually from mid-June to late September, at least 31 people had been killed and thousands of houses destroyed by the inclement weather, which triggered land and mud slides in Chongqing.

Wang ordered every district authority in the area to begin a comprehensive examination of potential land hazards as soon as possible for data inputting and risk assessment.

He also said that prevention and control efforts be consolidated and that the names of those responsible for each region and risky sites be published. He further called for cooperation between townships and teams of experts.

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