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Floating trash threatens Three Gorges Dam

[ 2010-08-02 10:56]     字号 [] [] []  
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Thick layers of garbage from continuous rain-triggered floods along the Yangtze River are threatening the safety of the Three Gorges Dam, a senior official has said.

"The large amount of waste in the dam area could jam the miter gate of the Three Gorges Dam," Chen Lei, director of the key water project department under the China Three Gorges Corporation, told China Daily in an exclusive interview.

Although the amount of garbage in the river has been decreasing in recent years, Chen said current downpours in the upstream region have brought unusually high amounts of floating waste into the Yangtze River. The waste includes tree branches, plastic bottles and domestic garbage.

"Such a large amount of debris could damage the propellers and bottoms of passing boats," he said. "The decaying garbage could also harm the scenery and the water quality."

A layer of garbage about 60 centimeters thick covering an area of more than 50,000 square meters began to form in front of the dam when the rainy season started in early July, the Hubei Daily reported.

In some regions, these layers of garbage are so thick that people can walk on them, the paper reported.

Nearly 3,000 tons of garbage is now being collected from the dam every day, Chen said. But inadequate manpower and equipment are hampering the cleanup, he said.


1. What is being blamed for unusually high amounts of garbage in the Yangtze River this summer?

2. How thick is the layer of garbage?

3. How much garbage is being collected from the dam every day?


1. Heavy rains in recent weeks are adding to the high amount of waste this summer.

2. The layer of garbage covering the river is 60 centimeters thick. In some regions, the garbage layer is so thick that people can walk on it.

3. Nearly 3,000 tons of garbage is collected from the dam each day.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Floating trash threatens Three Gorges Dam

About the broadcaster:

Floating trash threatens Three Gorges Dam

Renee Haines is an editor and broadcaster at China Daily. Renee has more than 15 years of experience as a newspaper editor, radio station anchor and news director, news-wire service reporter and bureau chief, magazine writer, book editor and website consultant. She came to China from the United States.