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28,000 more moved from China Three Gorges area: report

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) April 17, 2009
Landslides and mudflows caused by rising and falling waters behind China's gigantic Three Gorges Dam has forced the relocation of over 28,000 people since September, state press said Friday.

The "geological hazards" have caused 539 million yuan (79 million dollars) in economic losses along the nearly 600-kilometre-long (370-mile) reservoir behind the dam, the world's largest, Xinhua news agency said.

The erosion along the reservoir is being triggered by seasonal water fluctuations that have unsettled the delicate geology along the sides of the gorge, the report said.

Most of the 28,600 people who have been relocated since September last year have been moved into new homes, the report said, citing a spokesman for Chongqing municipality, where much of the reservoir is located.

Others have been told to live with relatives, Wen Tianping said, while adding that no casualties have been reported due to the landslides and mudflows.

The massive Three Gorges Dam, which spans the middle reaches of Yangtze River, has taken about 15 years to complete. During the process at least 1.4 million people were forced to move from areas that are now-submerged.

A further four million have been "encouraged" to move by 2020, officials said in late 2007 after a series of mudflows and landslides in the reservoir region led to massive relocations.

Built mainly for flood control and hydropower, the 22.5-billion-dollar dam that is built across China's longest river has been blamed for a host of environmental ills, including soil erosion, pollution and seismic activity.

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Bangladesh experts to investigate India dam plan
Dhaka (AFP) April 13, 2009
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