The floods ruined millions of lives in China and an unprecedented catastrophe could be unleashed if the Three Gorges hydroelectric dam collapses.
The floods caused by the incessant rains in the Yangtze River area were described by CCP-run Xinhua news agency as “whimsical children eager to go out and play. This was a reference to the broken levees and massive pressure on the Three Gorges Dam, which extends on both sides of the river upstream in Hubei Province. In this way Xinhua sought to get the attention of followers on We Chat.
The floods have caused the evacuation of 1.8 million people and caused losses of more than $7 billion. In this context, the playful declarations of the state media generated criticism from the public.
According to Taiwan News, the user “Dianlin2020” published on Wednesday, July 22, on the Chinese social networking site WeChat an article lamenting Xinhua’s inappropriate description of the floods, saying, “It is a pity that the media portrays disasters in a funny way.”
The Chinese WeChat user criticized mainstream media for adopting such a cheerful tone in covering natural disasters, showing no consideration for the victims and their suffering. WeChat-style media language, characterized by mind-blowing headlines and trivial tenor, has replaced what used to define conventional media: reporting with depth, complexity, seriousness and logic, he lamented.
After much criticism of the style spread, Xinhua decided to remove the reports from the web.
The Yangtze River is Asia’s largest, at 3,900 miles, and is a vital source of water and hydropower for millions of people. The region has hundreds of large and small dams and thousands of reservoirs to handle heavy rainfall, but this year’s monsoon season has caused the entire system to collapse. The water level in the Three Gorges reservoir reached a record high last week, reaching just over 33 feet above the flood level of the dam.
According to Taiwan News, Chinese citizens are increasingly wary that authorities are not telling them the truth about the danger of the Three Gorges dam collapsing. There have been several alarming water discharges involving huge streams of water that cause many floods in the area, despite assurances that all operations are continuing normally.
Officials at the Three Gorges have publicly admitted that the dam has suffered structural displacement and deformation, although they insist that all damage is within safe parameters.
So far, no major damage has occurred in major cities, although concerns are growing around Wuhan and other large cities downstream where tens of millions of people live.
The weather forecast unfortunately does not give good news for next week, announcing heavy rains, which could make the situation even worse.