Is the Three Gorges Dam in China deformed?

The distorted image of the Three Gorges Dam (China) is attracting the attention of media both inside and outside China. Recently, the operating company bemoaned rumors, saying the project still works normally. How is the truth?

On July 1, a Chinese Twitter account posted two photos comparing the Three Gorges Dam. In it, there is a photo showing the dam is clearly deformed.

Picture 1 of Is the Three Gorges Dam in China deformed?
Photo of the dam deformation spread on Chinese networks - (Photo: Twitter).

The Three Gorges Dam is the world's largest dam , blocking the Changjiang River in Hubei Province, China. Therefore, when two photos were uploaded, netizens were extremely worried about the tragedy.

The Global Times newspaper quoted the dam operation company as saying that the Three Gorges Dam is still safe and operating normally.

Tracking data of the Chinese Three Gorges Group (CTG) shows that the indicators are still at an acceptable level, the dam's structures are in stable condition.

However, CTG's report notes that the dam base has a longitudinal shift from 1.45mm to 26.69mm, moving horizontally about 4,63mm.

The Three Gorges statement did not seem to reassure the people when they looked at Google Satellite data, the dam could be seen clearly.

Picture 2 of Is the Three Gorges Dam in China deformed?
The writer who found the Three Gorges Dam on Google Satellite also showed a deformed photo - (Photo: Minh Khoi).

CTG's dam guards believe that high temperatures and steam can distort the image of Google Satellite.

Another image of the Three Gorges Dam was taken by the China Aviation Science and Technology Group by Gaofen-6 satellite and announced on Thursday, July 4, on Weibo, showing that the dam showed no signs of distortion. .

Picture 3 of Is the Three Gorges Dam in China deformed?
Photos taken by Gaofen-6 satellite show that the dam is still normal - (Photo: China Satellite and Application Data Center)

CTG claims to monitor the dam in real time, they have installed nearly 13,000 devices, including more than 2,600 deformation detection devices. They also have more than 5,300 monitors to detect deformation in the works.

"The Three Gorges Dam is an absolute safety project, can survive for up to 1,000 years. In addition to gravity, no external forces, including floods or earthquakes, can cause deformation" , Guo Xun, Researcher at the Institute of Engineering Mechanics of the China Earthquake Administration in Beijing told the Global Times.

Mr. Guo noted that in fact, all dams undergo certain daily deformation due to the gravity of the Earth. But the deformation is within the calculated range, everything is safe.

Mr. Guo also affirmed that if one day of the Three Gorges Dam was deformed beyond the scope of calculation, the rebar in the dam, which had extremely high compression capacity, would prevent the dam from breaking.

Not only Mr. Guo but many other Chinese experts also said that rumors rife with the Three Gorges Dam could be manipulated by hostile forces both at home and abroad.

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