Last town evacuated as water rises at Three Gorges

China has finished evacuating the last town to be submerged by the Three Gorges dam. Water levels in the reservoir will now rise to their final height of 175 metres above sea level, state media said.

The last residents of Gaoyang, in central Hubei province, left on Tuesday. The evacuation marks the end of a four-year exodus, during which at least 1.4 million people have been moved to make way for the waters behind the world’s largest dam project.

A large mudslide hit a village in the Gaoyang area in April, Reuters reported, sweeping into the local school’s playground.

Chinese vice premier Li Keqiang recently told a meeting of the Office of the State Council Three Gorges Project Construction Committee that
the relocation of local residents "was a long-term mission".

In September 2007, state media reported Chinese officials as saying that the dam had caused myriad ecological problems in the region,
including "more frequent landslides and pollution".

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