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Three Gorges Dam under strain, millions evacuated

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If you look up a list of the deadliest natural disasters in human history, Chinese floods make up like 3 or 4 of the top ten. 2020 doesn't wanna feel left out of that list.

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Posted (edited)

i actually remember watching a youtube video in the last month or so that talked about the most probable man-made disasters that could happen.  The 3G dam was on the list.   when they started building it in the 1990s it was originally described as beiing able to handle a 1 in 10,000 year flood, when it went online that claim had dropped to be a 1 in a 1,000 year flood.  Then it dropped to a 1 in 500 year flood.    and that was because as the workers viewed how the dam handled stress they relalized that it wasnt built to the exact specs needed.

in short, China did China on building this 3 Trillion dollar monster, cut slight corners, didnt use the absolute best option because it cost too much.

If it fails it would be a massive blow to lives, the economy, homes, and just as important to China, pride.

 

Edited by AUS-97HORN

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Hopefully loss of life is avoided.

Past that, China sucks.

1 minute ago, AUS-97HORN said:

i actually remember watching a youtube video in the last mont or so that talked about the 3G dam.   when they started building it in the 1990s it was originally described as beiing able to handle a 1 in 10,000 year flood, when it went online that claim had dropped to be a 1 in a 1,000 year flood.  Then it dropped to a 1 in 500 year flood.    and that was because as the workers viewed how the dam handled stress they relalized that it wasnt built to the exact specs needed.

in short, China did China on building this 3 Trillion dollar monster, cut slight corners, didnt use the absolute best option because it cost too much.

If it fails it would be a massive blow to lives, the economy, homes, and just as important to China, pride.

 

Recentish Chinese construction absolutely sucks.  There are 20 year old buildings in Shenzhen that are already falling apart.  That whole country is going to fall apart in another 20 years.

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Wuhan. Not catching a break:
 

However, residents in the central city Wuhan and provinces of Anhui, Jiangxi and Zhejiang, some of the places downstream of the dam that have been most severely hit by the water levels this year, received a red alert on Friday, the highest level on a four-tier weather warning system.

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15 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Hopefully loss of life is avoided.

Past that, China sucks.

Recentish Chinese construction absolutely sucks.  There are 20 year old buildings in Shenzhen that are already falling apart.  That whole country is going to fall apart in another 20 years.

Should have stuck with building walls.

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Posted (edited)

For reference, Texas has had 2 500 year flood events in the last 5 years.  It's when, not if in regards to that damn failing.

Edited by kevwun

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There have been rumblings about this damn dam being a shitshow since it started.  From my understanding it’s openly a matter of time before it fails, not if. 
 

not only will millions die, but a lot of high ranking government officials will probably “go missing”. 

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I’m purely relying on opinions and writings of others, but I’ve heard commentators talk about how the first 30-40 years of the Chinese communist rule has shaped construction and why it’s failing. It’s all about initial appearances and meeting schedules. Quality and ongoing maintenance are low considerations. Let that be someone else’s problem.

Raising issues is a problem for anyone in a bureaucracy but becomes toxic in a country with such deep bureaucracy.

even if modern China is trying to become more responsive to problems, earlier regimes drove home the message to not identify problems.

 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Telegraph_it said:

It’s supposed to flex right?

image.thumb.jpeg.ff38abc2cf92e686439d523a4c6d167d.jpeg

Shit. That doesn’t look good.  I guess that’s why most large dams have a built in curve to act as an arch?

 

edit: just read up on arch vs straight dams. Very interesting.   Straight isn’t necessarily bad. Just need to have proper engineering and construction techniques.  Which I’m sure we have here (laugh). 

Edited by Xian

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4 minutes ago, Telegraph_it said:

It’s supposed to flex right?

image.thumb.jpeg.ff38abc2cf92e686439d523a4c6d167d.jpeg

And some previously curved objects are now perfectly straight? Those images may not be precise.

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It’s supposed to flex right?
image.thumb.jpeg.ff38abc2cf92e686439d523a4c6d167d.jpeg

Can’t tell if serious. Images are obviously distorted.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, texhorn said:


Can’t tell if serious. Images are obviously distorted.

It’s from the internet. I’m damn serious. 

Edited by Telegraph_it

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9 minutes ago, kevwun said:

Yeah, concrete is basically rubber.

Hell I think the concrete in the base of the Hoover dam is still cooling, and solidifying to ultimate strength.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Onboard 2.0 said:

Hell I think the concrete in the base of the Hoover dam is still cooling, and solidifying to ultimate strength.

The best road trip I have been on was Austin to Vegas with stopover in Sunshine for Spring baseball during spring break my junior year. On the way into Vegas we stopped at Hoover Dam and did the tour. Just amazing. 

Edited by Telegraph_it
Dam or damn

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1 minute ago, Telegraph_it said:

The best road trip I have been on was Austin to Vegas with stopover in Sunshine for Spring baseball during spring break my junior year. On the way into Vegas we stopped at Hoover Dam and did the tour. Just amazing. 

Funny, just did the San Antonio to Vegas move/drive with the son in late September as he was Changing bases.  I've done the Hoover dam visit before (pre 9-11 when they showed you more behind the scene stuff I believe), it's pretty damned cool.  We hit Sedona, and the Grand Canyon on that last run.

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3 minutes ago, Telegraph_it said:

The best road trip I have been on was Austin to Vegas with stopover in Sunshine for Spring baseball during spring break my junior year. On the way into Vegas we stopped at Hoover Dam and did the tour. Just amazing. 

Took my college age kids there last year as a stopover going from Zion-Vegas-Phoenix; neither really wanted to go, but Dad dragged them along. The engineering student was fascinated and thought it was great, the liberal arts major thought it was horrible how all that land was taken from the Native Americans (said the same thing about the national parks)...smdh

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7 minutes ago, Onboard 2.0 said:

Funny, just did the San Antonio to Vegas move/drive with the son in late September as he was Changing bases.  I've done the Hoover dam visit before (pre 9-11 when they showed you more behind the scene stuff I believe), it's pretty damned cool.  We hit Sedona, and the Grand Canyon on that last run.

I hope you listened to this go over the dam. I know we did. 
 

 

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59 minutes ago, AUS-97HORN said:

i actually remember watching a youtube video in the last month or so that talked about the most probable man-made disasters that could happen.  The 3G dam was on the list.   when they started building it in the 1990s it was originally described as beiing able to handle a 1 in 10,000 year flood, when it went online that claim had dropped to be a 1 in a 1,000 year flood.  Then it dropped to a 1 in 500 year flood.    and that was because as the workers viewed how the dam handled stress they relalized that it wasnt built to the exact specs needed.

in short, China did China on building this 3 Trillion dollar monster, cut slight corners, didnt use the absolute best option because it cost too much.

If it fails it would be a massive blow to lives, the economy, homes, and just as important to China, pride.

 

Douglas Adams (of all people) wrote a book or an article as they were building this dam about how stupid it was.  
 

I still think of that article every time I hear about the Three Gorges Dam. Sort of fitting unfortunately. 

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Seriously, though, if the 3G Dam goes, that would cripple Wuhan, yet again. A major flood back in the 50s left standing water in Wuhan for over 3 months. Imagine the damage this thing would have today. And as a reminder for those of us who were surprised at the population when COVID hit it, the city itself has 8 million people in it and a total of 19 million people in what we would consider the metropolitan statistical area.

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Blowing up dams to blunt their inevitable failure.  Seems rather uncommon?

In central China, state broadcaster CCTV reported the dam on the Chuhe River in Anhui province was destroyed with explosives early Sunday morning in order to release the floodwaters behind it.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/china-flooding-chube-river-dam-blasted-water-level-huai-river-disaster-weather

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27 minutes ago, TommyGufano said:

A few infrastructure weeks and they could have avoided this

For some odd reason, Chinese officials are threatening an automatic death sentence for anybody who plays 'Sandstorm' near the damn

 

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found the video I was talking about.    start at the 6 min mark.

 

and according to the video its actually worse than I said, its not 1 in 500 years anymore, its 1 in 100... 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Don’t read too much into those aerial photos. That is a result of georeferencing the images against elevation data. Bridge and dams are almost always “wavy” in satellite and airplane captured photography. Think of it as taking a photo and draping it over a 3D elevation model. The elevation data will show the riverbed and the photo will warp  the image of the bridge/dam because it thinks it should be on the ground in the riverbed As opposed to suspended in the air some number of feet above the riverbed. Sometimes the aerial imagery company will perform the data manipulation of bridges and dams manually to avoid the warping shown in the second photo.

With that said, it has absolutely nothing to do with the condition of the dam.

edit: if you open google maps and go look at the bridge on 620 that runs parallel to Mansfield dam you can see evidence where they try and smooth it over.

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.3912738,-97.9093585,304m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

Edited by Orange&White

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57 minutes ago, tx 3 putt said:

Chinese engineers are garbage, no big shock here. 

Actually, I don't think I would say that.  Like any engineers, notably American automotive engineers in the 70s and 80s, they are responsive to other powers, like beancounters or other cheapskates in a corporation or government or whatever powers-that-be.

They do seem to have something of an independent-thinking or innovation deficit.

And, I'm not sure it's so much the engineering as the manufacturing/construction and quality control that makes their projects/products suck pretty often.

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1 hour ago, kevwun said:

For reference, Texas has had 2 500 year flood events in the last 5 years.  It's when, not if in regards to that damn failing.

There really should be a nomenclature change with regards to flooding event likelihood.  It’s too easy to mistake the 100/500/1000/10000/x year designation as only happens once in that time span, instead of seeing it as a 1/x chance of happening every year. 

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Those wet markets in Wuhan are about the be the very wet markets...like your mom. 

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1 hour ago, atomheartbevo said:

For some odd reason, Chinese officials are threatening an automatic death sentence for anybody who plays 'Sandstorm' near the damn

Craftsmanship.

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[Puts down ancient scroll, takes thoughtful puff of pipe]

In the book World War Z, the one with the real zombies (the slow ones,) the first person to be bitten had been searching for artifacts in a flooded tomb beneath the waters backed up by this dam.

If the dam fails, not only will there be massive flooding, but that tomb will be exposed to the air.

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What a nightmare.  I hope there are some quality cameras permanently affixed nearby, because when that thing breaks it’s going to be an incredible event to witness.

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