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Hydropower Plant May Have Triggered Deadly Landslide in Southwest China, says Expert

Posted by Author on June 20, 2010

NTD TV –

On Tuesday at around 1:30 in the morning, part of a mountain collapsed in Kangding County in China’s southwestern Sichuan province. It killed 23 workers at a hydroelectric project construction site.

State media Xinhua reports that recent heavy rains triggered the landslide. But local geological expert Fan Xiao believes there may be another cause.

[Fan Xiao, Sichuan Geological and Mineral Bureau]:
“It’s mainly because of large scale work in recent years to construct the hydroelectric plant. Along the Dadu River there are over 20 hydropower stations which are all undergoing large-scale work… this has damaged the stability of the mountainsides, leading to mudslides when it rains. And digging also damages the stability of the mountain body, so eventually this creates a large scale mountain collapse.”

The part of the mountain that collapsed on Tuesday reached nearly 1.5 million cubic feet. It crushed a shed where construction workers slept, and temporarily blocked the water flow at a tributary of the Dadu River.

Fan Xiao, who is the chief engineer of the Regional Geology Investigation Team of the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau, says hydropower construction in the region also poses other risks.

[Fan Xiao, Sichuan Geological and Mineral Bureau]:
“Many hydropower plants along the Dadu River are very large in scale. They have very tall dams that store a large amount of water. Coincidentally, the river is along an earthquake belt, and chances of these dams triggering an earthquake are very high too.”

In recent years, the Chinese regime has undertaken numerous hydropower projects to supply growing demands for electricity.

After the 2008 Sichuan earthquake Fan, and other experts, urged the suspension of new hydropower plants and a reassessment of geological risks posed by large-scale dams in the area.

NTD TV

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