The dam provides a source of clean energy and has prevented seasonal flooding on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the People’s Daily said, but its benefits have come at a heavy environmental cost.
The huge weight of water behind the Three Gorges Dam has eroded the Yangtze River’s banks in many places, officials heard at a two-day forum held in Wuhan on Tuesday, and together with frequent fluctuations in water levels, this had triggered a series of landslides.
Tan Qiwei, vice mayor of Chongqing, was reported as saying that the shore of the reservoir had collapsed in 91 places and a total of 36 kilometres had caved in.
"If no preventive measures are taken, the project could lead to catastrophe," the newspaper quoted officials as saying in a statement.
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