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May 14 / Dave Schumaker

Severe Cracks in China’s Zipingpu Dam

Severe cracks were discovered in the Zipingpu Dam, located in China’s Sichuan province. The cracks were discovered after Monday’s earthquake. According to Chinese authorities, the “plant and associated buildings have collapsed and some are partly sunk.” The dam is locaed upriver from Duijiangyan City, which has a population of 630,000 people.

Zipingpu Dam
Source: TaylorMiles on flickr.

About 2,000 troops were sent to work on a dam near the epicenter of Monday’s earthquake, state-run media reported.

The Zipingpu dam, upriver from Dujiangyan in Sichuan province, was in “great danger,” the Xinhua news agency reported. said that the 7.9-magnitude earthquake had caused “severe cracks” in the dam.

The “plant and associated buildings have collapsed and some are partly sunk,” it said of the hydropower station.

The Ministry of Water Resources said that an irrigation system and Dujiangyan City — which has a population of about 630,000 — “would be swamped,” if major problems emerged at the dam, said.

More information also available at Sky News.

Update: The dam is now reported to be stable and safe.

Update 2: Updated to a correct photo of the Zipingpu Dam, as the International Rivers website had an incorrect photo.

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