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The Three Gorges Dam project on the Yangtze River has withstood its biggest flood-control test. It has managed to contain the raging flood waters as the Yangtze River rose to levels not seen in over a decade.
The dam is now successfully handling an inflow of 70,000 cubic meters per second and discharging 40,000 cubic meters.
The inflow volume is 20,000 cubic meters greater than during the catastrophic Yangtze floods of 1998 when 4150 people died and 18 million were evacuated.
Zhao Yunfa, Deputy Director of Cascade Dispatch Center, said, "This picture clearly shows how the project works. We can see there are nine holes busy discharging the floods. "
It's the biggest test for the reservoir's flood control function so far. It was one of the key aims behind its construction.
Chen Fei, Chief Manager of Three Gorges Corporation, said, "The major task of the dam is to hold back floods. The gigantic project is designed to hold 22 billion cubic meters of water, with a huge capacity for storing floodwater. There is no reason to question the dam's capability for controlling the flooding amid the peak flow, because its primary goal of flood control is absolutely achievable."
Cai Qihua, Chief Director of Yangtze River Water Resources Committee, said, "The volume of the flow will be reduced by 10-thousand cubic meters per second per day. The discharge of the dam will be around 40-thousand cubic meters per second three days later. It will effectively control flooding in downstream areas."
Rainstorms have hit the central and southern parts of China. It continues to lash the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River and is raising water levels.
Since the completion of the project in 2009, the dam has steadily pumped out much-needed hydroelectricity, and shipping on the Yangtze has increased significantly while flooding has been reduced.