“A growing threat of landslides on ground surrounding the massive Three Gorges Dam reservoir could force the government to relocate 100,000 more residents of the area, from which 46,000 were moved earlier, an expert with China’s land and resources ministry said this week.
“The dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric project, has been a target of criticism by environmentalists and some geologists since before the reservoir began to inundate a long stretch of the Yangtze River, long regarded as one of the world’s scenic wonders, in 2003. A massive landslide occurred that year, followed by others, but only in 2007 did the government admit that the rising waters were causing instability and that a catastrophe could occur unless preventive steps were taken.
“Officials have recorded 430 landslides and nearly 2,900 smaller geological incidents along the lakeshore, and 5,386 other potentially dangerous sites are being monitored, Mr. Liu said.
“The government relocated 1.4 million people to build the dam and reservoir, which is comparatively narrow but longer than Lake Superior in North America. The latest proposed relocation would affect residents along hundreds of miles of twisting lakeshore from Jiangjin, in the Chongqing municipality, to the dam’s location at Yichang, in Hubei Province.”
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