China went through a severe flood season this summer, with millions living on the edge of disaster. The floods also damaged infrastructure in different areas. Reports across the internet recorded footage of the disasters.
Footage released by state media shows rescuers in boats paddling through the wet streets to free trapped residents. In the manufacturing hub of Shaoguan, factories were ordered to halt production as water levels reached their highest level in 50 years, state television reported.
A report by state-owned media People’s Daily in June said the water levels in more than a hundred rivers across the country surged beyond flood warning levels. As a result, Southern China dealt with its worst flooding in decades, with houses and cars submerged. Meanwhile, the northern and central areas faced extreme heat waves.
According to the New York Times, the floods have ruined the lives of nearly half a million people in southern China.
China has over 23,000 large dams as of 2019. They play an essential role in controlling floods in China, and the Three Gorges Dam is one of them. The Three Gorges Dam aimed to reduce the potential for downstream flooding and protect people. First, however, we’ll see if this project is practical and forecast the potential crises if the dam collapses.
Three Gorges dam is the cause of natural disasters
Concerning floods in China, the 1998 catastrophic flood was significant in the Yangtze, Nenjiang, Songhua, and other river basins. Twenty-nine autonomous and municipal provinces with 33 million to 52 million acres of land were affected.
Moreover, it ruined over 220 million people’s lives. About 4,000 people died, 6.85 million houses were destroyed, and the direct economic loss was $24.8 billion.
The most memorable day of the incident was August 7, when a breach in the Jiujiang embankment of the Yangtze River flooded the city of Jiujiang.
The next day, then-Premier Zhu Rongji rushed to the site of the breach and angrily made the famous statement, “It was a tofu-dreg project.” His view shows the seriousness of the situation.
The ancient Chinese have always lived in harmony with this current. But, in 1994, China began constructing the world’s largest dam, the Three Gorges Dam, choking the mighty Yangtze River.
The dream of becoming the great ruler
China Story released a report entitled “The Three Gorges Dam: A Deluge of Doubts.” The ability to use rivers for flood control, irrigation, and navigation has been a vital challenge for every ruler of China since King Yu, the founder of the Xia Dynasty (21st to 17th century BC). King Yu was renowned for harnessing the floodwaters and using his water control methods to develop agriculture.
Former Chinese leader Mao Zedong was reported to have announced his vision of the dam in a poem. He raved about “walls of stone standing upstream” and “a smooth lake rising in the deep gorges.”
Is it just a coincidence when prophet Nostradamus gave his prediction in the past about this dam?
In “The Prophecies-6th Century,” he wrote,
“Near the Ticino, the inhabitants of the Loire,
Garonne and Saône, the Seine, the Tain and Gironde:
They will erect a promontory beyond the mountains,
Conflict given, Po enlarged, submerged in the wave.”
This prophetic poem accurately predicted the construction of the Three Gorges Project on the Yangtze River and its various contradictions. This poem needs a sentence-by-sentence translation to understand the meaning.
Chinese language media Zhengjian published articles to explain Nostradamus’s “The Centuries” series.
In the first sentence, “Ticino” is a southwestern Swiss province. Ticino lies to the north of Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano. Meanwhile, the “Laur River” is the longest in France.
The geographical feature of the Swiss province of “Ticino” refers to the Hubei province region with two lakes, according to the article. Meanwhile, France’s “Laure River” is the “Yangtze River” in China.
As a result, the first sentence of this poem is translated as “Hubei Province near the two lakes, the Yangtze River’s residential area,” using Chinese place names.
In the second sentence, Nostradamus mentioned Garonne, Saone, and Seine as three major rivers in France. Together with the Laur river, they form a total of four rivers. They refer to the word “Sichuan” in Chinese, which is also the name of a province. It refers to the municipalities directly under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in China.
According to the article, Gironde is the meeting point of two rivers in France, the Garonne, and the Dordogne. Tain is a Scottish royally chartered municipal town.
As a result, the literal translation is “a municipality directly under the central authority in the Sichuan area, at the confluence of two rivers.”
The word “promontory” is used in the third sentence to describe a tall and massive structure or building. It could refer to modern large dams because people didn’t see them in the 16th century. As a result, this sentence implies that a large dam will be built in China’s mountains, the Three Gorges Dam.
Deng Xiaoping, China’s former Chairman, wasn’t successful in building the dam. However, Jiang Zemin and Li Peng chief of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress at that time, built the Three Gorges Dam for their own political and economic gain.
Jiang Zemin, then-General Secretary of the CCP, made all major decisions concerning the Three Gorges Dam project. Annie Luman Ren, the author of the report on China Story, reported that Jiang Zemin needed something to make himself remarkable after assuming power in 1989.
Possibilities of earthquakes or accidents caused by Three Gorges Dam
The 1998 flood disaster left its mark on many Chinese generations. However, before this happened, media reports and experts warned of possible accidents.
According to a 1997 Washington Post report, the Three Gorges Dam project could form a 412-mile reservoir and bury 13 cities, 140 towns, 1,352 villages, and about 650 factories. In addition, water levels would rise 577 feet, submerging hundreds of ancient ruins and many of the bases of the granite and limestone cliffs that lined the canyon and were among China’s top tourist attractions.
David Shankman is a geographer at the University of Alabama who studies Chinese flooding. He told Reuters, [quote] “One of the major justifications for the Three Gorges Dam was flood control, but less than 20 years after its completion, we have the highest flood water in recorded history … The fact is that it cannot prevent these severe events.” [end quote].
Before its construction, Chinese hydrologist Huang Wanli had spoken out against the idea of the Three Gorges Dam. He claimed his engineering work would ultimately cause disaster. But the CCP disgraced and imprisoned him.
Moreover, Nostradamus wrote in his poem,
“Between Bayonne and Saint-Jean-de-Luz stands the promontory of Mars.
Hans, who was facing Beilun, couldn’t catch the flash, so he suffocated helplessly on the bed.”
According to Chinese language media Kanzhongguo, the English of the third sentence of this poem is re-translated according to the interpretation of “Nanar” in the “Old French Dictionary of the Nostradamus Period” compiled by Edward Oliver in 2004.
According to Chinese media Zhengjian, these two sentences predicted a possible earthquake or accident at the Three Gorges Dam on a particular night and its impact downstream.
Bayonne, the cultural and economic center of the Basque Country, refers to Chongqing as both are the confluence of two rivers. Chongqing was a municipality located within Sichuan Province.
Besides, “St. Jane’s Road” reads as “the road between the mountains.” That’s because it refers to the water flow between the mountains of the Three Gorges Dam area. Meanwhile, “The Cape of Mars,” refers to the dam built by the CCP.
The fourth line of this poem predicts that constructing the Three Gorges Dam will produce conflicts and contradictions in Chinese society and local areas. It says, “Conflict arises, the Po River expands and submerges in the waves.” The “Po river” is home to millions of people and includes many historical sites.
Chinese media Da Ji Yuan reported that many facts have shown that the dam has induced large-scale earthquakes and geological disasters. For example, the reservoir played a role in causing earthquakes in the Three Gorges Dam region.
The area around the Three Gorges Dam is geologically volatile and caused earthquakes such as the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake, the 2013 Lushan 7.0 Earthquake, the 2014 Kangding 6.3 Earthquake, the 2017 Jiuzhaigou 7.0 Earthquake, the 6.0 earthquake in Changning County and many more minor quakes.
The dam is said to have caused approximately 3,400 earthquakes from mid-2003 to late 2009 and numerous landslides—a 30-fold increase in seismic activity.
Experts at Saint Louis Universities reported a magnitude 5.1 earthquake near the Three Gorges Dam in 2013. The quake caused some structural damage near the epicenter but no visible damage to the dam.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the project displaced more than 1.2 million people.
Will the Three Gorges Dam collapse?
VOA Chinese interviewed some experts regarding the potential collapse and resulting crisis.
Hydrologist Wang Weiluo tweeted Lang Shan’s photo. The Three Gorges Dam is a gravity dam with dozens of cement blocks placed on the bedrock. Therefore, displacement will definitely occur.
Leng Shan said that the deformation of the Three Gorges Dam would be a significant disaster if it happened.
Wang Weiluo’s response to French media RFi was cited by the Business and Human Rights Center in 2020. He said that the project was finished too quickly.
Besides, a dam failure would have catastrophic consequences for individuals residing in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, adding that people should prepare for evacuation as soon as possible.
In 2011, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) admitted that the Three Gorges Dam had created many significant problems. The CCP stated that urgent issues such as stabilizing and improving living conditions for relocated people, protecting the environment, and preventing geological disasters must be addressed.According to CNN, the project’s total cost was $28.65 billion (200 billion yuan). However, its efficacy has long been under question.