Cofferdam of Three Gorges demolished in seconds
Updated: 2006-06-06 16:11
THREE GORGES DAM SITE, Hubei Province -- Demolition of the last cofferdam
protecting the just-completed main wall of the Three Gorges Dam, the world's
largest, started at 4:00 on Tuesday afternoon in the middle reaches of the
Yangtze River, China's longest, with explosives enough to topple down 400
This picture captures a moment when the
demolition explosion was carried out June 6, 2006.
The operation took about 12
seconds, causing nearly 190,000 cubic meters of concrete fragments from the
upper-30-meter section of the cofferdam to tumble into the river.
removal of the cofferdam means the main wall of the Three Gorges Project will
formally begin its role in flood control, which will be two years ahead of the
The world's largest dam in Three Gorges area, central China's
Hubei Province, was completed on May 20, signifying a milestone accomplishment
of major structure of the mammoth Three Gorges water control project that aims
to tame the flood-prone Yangtze River.
Li Yong'an, general manager of
China Yangtze River Three Gorges Development Corporation, said blasting
away the concrete cofferdam and the Three Gorges Reservoir's water storage will
spark off no severe geological disasters.
The timed dismantling was
declared a complete success by Li.
"Three Gorges Dam will remain
unaffected and safe even if there might be earthquakes," said the general
The entire Three Gorges Dam, which was put to holding back
water following the successful dismantling of the cofferdam's upper part, will
play a role in this year's flood control efforts on the Yangtze River.
And the water level of the Three Gorges Reservoir will rise from the
current height of 135 meters to 156 meters after the summer flood season is
over, and then rise further to 175 meters.
"It is unavoidable to trigger
earthquakes by keeping the water level in the Three Gorges Reservoir at a high
level, but the aftermath won't be catastrophic," said Li.