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Three Gorges Dam in Good Shape Despite Quake

The Three Gorges Dam remains safe from the May 12 quake that hit Sichuan Province, a senior dam official said on Sunday.

"The earthquake has not damaged the dam or other parts of the project," Cao Guangjing, deputy general manager of the China Three Gorges Project Corporation, told China Daily in an exclusive interview.

"The earthquake-proof capability of the Three Gorges Project is higher than national standards," Cao said.

"The project is designed to withstand a 7-magnitude quake and is able to withstand an 8-magnitude quake for a short time."

And the seismic intensity, or the impact of the quake, weakened when it came to the Three Gorges Reservoir area.

The seismic intensity measured 11 at the epicenter, just one notch lower than the highest level.

But it measured 4 when the seismic waves arrived at the Three Gorges, therefore, "the dam has experienced no problems", Cao said.

Cao added that the geological structure below the Three Gorges Project is also "very stable".

"The possibility of an earthquake happening at the Three Gorges or its surrounding areas is small," he said.

Cao added that there was "little need" to make major improvements on the quake-proof capability of the Three Gorges Project, despite the recent quake in Sichuan.

He also denied rumors that the Three Gorges Project was linked to the earthquake.

"There is no scientific basis for that," he said.

(China Daily June 2, 2008)

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