Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Did China Have a Hand in Creating Her Horrible Earthquake?

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 4, 2011


Excerpt from The Choking of China
The book is about how China is polluting her country and the repercussions thereof. Here they talk about how China is damming water and the impact of the dams.

“But not for long. By 1980, 2796 dams had failed, with combined death toll of 240,000 people. After the construction of the Three Gorges dam, it soon began to trigger landslides and deadly waves. The rivers feeding it were not able to flush out garbage – so the water became carcinogenic and threatened people in 186 cities. But the most startling effect followed the Zipingpu dam – which may well have caused the Sichuan earthquake.

When the plans were first unveiled to build the Zipingpu dam on an ancient faultline, many scientists warned it was a bad idea. True, the faultline had been dormant for millions of years. But, as Watts puts it: “Each time it filled and emptied, more than 300 million tons of water rose and fell. It was like a giant jumping up and down on a cracked surface. Several leading scientists speculated that the result was a reservoir-induced earthquake.” Less than two years after reservoir first filled, the Sichuan earthquake struck, killing around 68,000 people. Discussion of this question was suppressed in China. But many distinguished scientists have argued that the country’s worst recent “natural” disaster wasn’t natural as all, but a direct result of government policy.”

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