man's fragile ego .....versus mother nature
I will never take away anything from china ......they can seem to build anything .....i watched the build the 3 gorges dam .......it was breath taking fascinating and incredible and sad and all things rolled into one ......
I still to this day ..........am fascinated of what architects can achieve .......mind blowing...... how one mind ..........can build tall buildings that do not fall over ...........and they have pendulums built into ..........
And yes i may rag on china .......but their impossible feats of engineering are outrageous .........to say the least .......but on the flip side ....mother nature is totally ruthless........ and all that can be achieved ......can be undone by a force that man will never never win ......mother nature .......i live in south Florida....... and been through many hurricanes and witnessed destruction ......whole Olympic size swimmingpools....... gone in a condominium .....how that happens i don't know but it did ......Florida gets hit i was through hurricane andrew ........and saw people lose everything in less than one day! ........
Mother nature is not biased .......racist...... or cares your creed .........colour....... origin......if you are in her path ......its never going to be good ......i went to the ocean in a hurricane to see mother natures anger ........intense! ........
I love the engineering magnificence of the 3 gorges dam .........but i think china's ego is challenging mother nature ..........i seriously hope .......with all my belief it does'nt get damaged........... it was an engineering marvel ......but for the people too ......
'Man cannot win against nature': Amid catastrophic floods, China's dams come into question
The white-haired farmer ran barefoot to his fields at 2 a.m. so he could harvest his crops before the floods came. He was one of tens of thousands of villagers whose homes and fields were about to be engulfed as a dam gushed open to release rising waters.
“We have to think big-picture, think of the greater good,” said the farmer identified as Qiao in a recent local news video from Anhui province. “Isn’t it like this every year?”
Qiao spoke as many rural residents of the Yangtze River floodplains do, accustomed to swelling waters whenever big rains hit. But this year is the worst in decades, with 433 rivers surging above flood control levels since June, 33 of them setting records.
The floods have so far affected more than 54 million people, including 3.7 million displaced and 158 people dead or missing. The surging waters have destroyed 41,000 houses and damaged 368,000 more, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management. Death tolls and battered homes are fewer than in previous years, but displacement and economic loss are far higher.
China's dams — its primary guard against floods — are coming into question as they face increasing strain. Last week, the government blasted open a dam in Anhui. On the same day, more than 16,000 people were trapped in Guzhen town in the same province as the waters surged 10 feet high and broke through levees.
Fears are intensifying over the gargantuan Three Gorges Dam, where the reservoir has risen 50 feet above the warning level, to its highest point since the dam was completed in 2006.
China has more than 98,000 dams, according to the Ministry of Water Resources, more than any other nation. Many were built in the 1950s and ’60s and suffer from poor maintenance.
“These flood control engineering projects are not a panacea,” said Ma Jun, director of the Beijing-based Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs. With torrential rains, he added, the amount of water concentrated in each reservoir poses a risk of serious damage, even in small dams.
The heavy storms over the Yangtze River basin are the result of a western Pacific subtropical high, a pressure system that every summer carries warm air from south to north. The system is abnormally strong this year, said Liu Junyan, climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace East Asia, but it is unclear whether it is caused by climate change.
The flooding, however, is directly linked to man-made problems. China’s overreliance on dams, excessive construction in low-lying areas, land reclamation in wetlands and lakes, and cities built with poor drainage systems have all exacerbated flood damage.
Those chased from their homes also speak of mismanaged flood systems, lack of government accountability and unequal treatment of the rural poor, who bear most of the flood burden.
In Shexian, a county that suffered its worst flooding in decades this month when an upstream dam overflowed in the middle of the night, residents said they had been given no warning.
“None of this can be reused. It’s all trash,” said Ma Dacong, a waste collector who was removing wooden crates, damaged machinery and soggy mountains of boxed tea at Weiwei Chaye, one of many tea factories whose entire stock had been soaked and spoiled in a matter of minutes.
Ma calculated more than $143,000 in damage to his machines and pickup trucks. But his was just a small business, he said. The factories, which were paying him a few thousand dollars each to clean up, had lost much more. Their workers swept out brownish-yellow water from the floors; the smell of rot lingered in the air.
“The water came so fast. We could never have imagined it,” said Shao, 49, the co-owner of a home appliance shop in Shexian who did not give his full name. His relatives and store employees sat on its front steps, rinsing kitchen and bathroom appliance parts that they hoped to still sell.
As a small family firm, the shop had struggled to survive the first half of the year, when coronavirus lockdowns cut into business. Its warehouses were full, with business restarting only a month or so ago as the outbreak waned.
They had been sleeping when the waters roiled around 5 a.m. that day, rushing over riverbanks to swallow sidewalks and streets.
By 5:30 a.m., the water was at people’s shins. By 6 a.m., it was approaching their waists. By 7:30 a.m., it was 6½ feet high, and factory workers, shop owners, and high schoolers who’d woken early for their college entrance exams were climbing onto second floors and rooftops to escape.
“If the government just gave us half a day’s warning, I could have saved $14,000 to $28,000 in damage,” Shao said. He’d lost at least $43,000, he said, and had received no government relief, a maddening, if typical, setback in this region.
Much of the worst damage in this year’s floods, said Ma, has come from broken dams or dikes, or from intentional release of reservoir waters without sufficient warning or protection of people downstream. Yet dams have been a point of pride for the Communist Party.
The Three Gorges Dam in particular has been touted by the Chinese government as a symbol of national prestige, despite controversies over the mass displacement, environmental destruction, pollution, landslides and earthquake risks it has caused.
The choice of where to let waters out and whom to flood highlights inequalities. China tends to prioritize protection of cities — “more populous and economically important regions,” Ma said — at the cost of villagers, mostly farmers or migrant workers. Those who get flooded should not be living so close to the rivers, but many of them "don’t have a choice,” he added.
China’s hukou system ties every citizen’s access to healthcare, education and other social services to their place of origin. Villagers who move to cities for work cannot truly settle in urban areas and tend to send money back to their hometown. Flooding villages and small towns costs less overall than flooding a city, but it means that those with less cushion for survival are hit hardest.