China May Relocate 100,000 Residents From Three Gorges Vicinity

Posted April 18th, 2012 at 4:50 am (UTC-5)
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China says about 100,000 people living near the Three Gorges Dam may have to be relocated due to the threat of geological disasters near the massive project.

Liu Yuan, an official with the Ministry of Land Resources, recently told China National Radio the number of landslides and riverbank collapses has increased 70 percent since the waters behind the dam reached their maximum level in 2010.

Liu says the 100,000 residents may have to be moved over the next three to five years to minimize the risk of casualties from such threats. He says work will soon begin to repair rockfalls and landslides at 335 sites near the dam, and that monitoring is under way at 5,386 potential danger sites.

About 1.4 million people living near the Three Gorges Dam have been forced to resettle over the the last decade, when the gates of the dam were closed to create a massive reservoir in Hubei province. A report issued by China's State Council last June said the $25 billion dam — the world's largest hydro-electric project — is fraught with environmental, geologic and economic problems.