Warning: Constant ABSPATH already defined in /home/public/wp-config.php on line 27
Aftershocks Continue — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Aftershocks Continue

The ground is still shaking in China.

Over at the USGS site you can see the cluster of shocks on the 10° map and list of ‘quakes for the map shows 46 events from the initial 05/12/2008 0628 [UTC] 7.9 event to the most recent 05/14/2008 1227 [UTC] 4.4 aftershock.

The rate is slowing, but the shocks are still in the 4.4 to 5.4 range and the rain continues.

Update: CNN reports China: Troops race to plug quake-damaged dam

SICHUAN PROVINCE, China (CNN) — China’s death toll from a massive earthquake soared by thousands Wednesday as troops rushed to plug “severe cracks” in a dam upriver from one of the hardest hit cities.

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

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, China.org said.

The Zipingpu dam, upriver from Dujiangyan in Sichuan province, was in “great danger,” the Xinhua news agency reported.

China.org 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.

Expect more bad news and problems as communications are established with new areas cut off by the earthquake.


1 Fallenmonk { 05.14.08 at 5:32 pm }

If the dam is as damaged as they seem to imply then I don’t know what a couple of thousand soldiers could do. Significant cracking or severe weakening of the foundations of the dam would mean that it is just a matter of time before it fails. I imagine it would take months of intense work to repair if it is possible at all. Each aftershock is probably contributing to the weakening as well.

2 hipparchia { 05.14.08 at 7:17 pm }

not a job i’d want to be sent on, plugging leaks in a failing dam.

3 Bryan { 05.14.08 at 8:07 pm }

I would assume that the troops are being sent to operate the flood gates manually to reduce the pressure on the damn. With all of the powered equipment down they are probably going to be forced to rig something to open the gates, or start siphoning off the water.

Fixing the dam is going to require heavy equipment that is probably tied up at the Three Gorges project. It will probably come down on barges with a city worth of concrete.

Relieving pressure at a reasonable rate is the logical step at this point.