China’s controversial Three Gorges Dam, the world’s biggest hydropower project, is structurally sound, officials said, denying rumors on social media it was at risk of collapse.
Safety experts with the government-run China Three Gorges Corporation said on its official website that the Yangtze River dam had moved a few millimeters due to temperature and water level changes, but safety indicators remained well within their normal range.
They were responding to a Twitter user who posted satellite photos from Google Maps last week purporting to show the dam had bent and was at risk of breaking. The photos were circulated on domestic social media.
China Three Gorges Corporation made the statement after a Twitter user questioned the structural integrity of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. Satellite photos from Google Maps showed distortions in the dam’s structure that could cause it to break, with catastrophic effects for downstream residents, the user said. A screenshot of the post circulated on Weibo, prompting worried comments from Weibo users.
The dam’s structure has shifted just a few millimeters, due to changes in the water level, temperature, and uneven distribution of gravity, Three Gorges Corporation said.
The government response has been slightly different. On Monday, two days after the statement from the Three Gorges Corporation, the central government released its own statement saying the problem was with the satellite imaging — not the dam itself.