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Three Gorges Project Passes 1st Flood Control Test

The dam was sound, the generators kept working, the floodwater was held -- Chinese officials said Wednesday that the Three Gorges Project had passed its first flood control test.

"The biggest flood crest on the Yangtze River this year has passed through the Three Gorges Dam, and the middle and lower reaches of Yangtze were protected as the crest was tamed in the reservoir," said Yuan Jie, the engineer in charge of water discharge on the project.

The water level in the reservoir had remained at 146.1 meters since 3:00PM on Wednesday, containing 1.3 billion cubic meters of floodwater.

The China Yangtze Three Gorges Project Corporation (CTGPC) said the project contained 6.8 billion cubic meters of floodwater this year.

It was the first time the world's largest dam had to control a flood crest since construction was completed on May 20 last year, said Cao Guangjing, deputy general manager of the CTGPC.

The water level downstream at Shashi fell from the peak of 42.97 meters to 42.69 meters at 2:00PM on Wednesday, failing to hit the danger line of 43 meters.

Two-way traffic on the Three Gorges ship lock that was halted at 8:00AM on Monday resumed on Wednesday afternoon. Thirty ships had passed through by 8:00PM while more than 300 were still waiting.

Sixteen generators of the Three Gorges Project were all working on Wednesday afternoon, despite a large amount of floating plant and crop debris washed into the reservoir by the flood crest.

(Xinhua News Agency August 2, 2007)

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