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Heavy flooding in China. Image: Paul Gonzalez/Flickr
by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer
This week, China is facing its fifth major flood this summer, Tanner Brown reported for MarketWatch. This extreme flooding has officially reached the Three Gorges Dam, and is said to be “pummelling” the structure. As The Guardian reported yesterday, inflows to the “world’s largest hydro-electric dam reached 75m litres of water a second… By Thursday morning, 11 outlets of the dam had been opened to discharge 49.2m litres of water a second, the largest release since its construction.”
As the Asia Nikkei Review explained, Chinese officials are calling this “once in a century” flooding which has affected around 55 million people in 27 of China’s 31 provinces since flooding began in June.
But the dam is facing its “biggest threat yet,” and causing pundits to ask whether its construction was “worth it.” As CNN noted, “with multiple gauging stations monitoring river flows in the Yangtze basin seeing record-high water levels this summer, some geologists say the limited role of the Three Gorges Dam in flood control has been laid bare.”
As climate change continues to worsen, so too will the storms, causing intense deluges in Asia and beyond. In addition to mitigating activities that cause anthropogenic climate change, we must also work to protect those places who feel the brunt of environmental changes, represented here by the floods deeply impacting the continent.
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