Rembau Times issues Red Alert on 3 Gorges Dam [Updated]

A simulation of the collapse of the 3 Gorges Dam has been released on Chinese social media. After researching and considering various facts, the Rembau Times issues a red alert on the structural integrity of the 3 Gorges Dam on 25th July 2020 at 1445 Rembau Time

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A simulation of the collapse of the 3 Gorges Dam has been released on Chinese social media.. More to follow.

On Tuesday, 21st July 2020, Chinese financial news site Caijing Lengyan released a controversial video that simulates the devastating flooding that would occur if the vaunted Three Gorges Dam collapsed. The video shows the path the wall of water might take and includes estimates on the speed, depth, and reach of the floodwaters all the way to Wuhan.

To be clear the Rembau Times cannot independently verify who Caijing Lengyan is. A review of its DNS lookup seems to indicate that this is not an official source of China. It is hosted in the USA using GoDaddy  and is less than 1 year old.

Rembau Times Conclusion:

The 3 Gorges Dam has about 12,000 sensors located in its structure. If there was an imminent dam collapse, the 3 Gorges Corporation, which is the Company in charge of running the dam will definitely know about it.

So the question is whether or not this information is fake or deliberately planted by Chinese authorities in order to give people some sort of “advance warning”.

Currently, our conclusion is that this is a hypothetical simulation without any evidence to point that the Chinese authorities intentionally released the video to Caijing Lengyan in order to provide an advance warning. This is because Caijing Lengyan is a rather critical news site and not part of the official or unofficial media apparatus of the Chinese Government. There is also no corroboration or follow through of this on other unofficial channels of the Chinese Government yet. However, this belief will be updated if we detect any hint by official or unofficial channels of the Chinese Government that they believe a collapse to be imminent. On 25th July 2020, at 1445, the Board of Directors of Rembau Times raised the warning level to RED.

The Biggest Risk Facing 3 Gorges Dam : Seepage

If 3 Gorges Dam, collapses, it will be due to seepage

Civil engineers among our readers will understand Darcy’s Law. What Darcy’s Law states is that the rate of seepage depends on the pressure difference and is inversely proportional to the length of the flow path. Once seepage is uncontrollable, the soil on which the dam is anchored may start to behave as a Non Newtonian Viscous Fluid in a term called liquefaction.

Chinese authorities have already admitted that the Three Gorges Dam—located on the Yangtze River—has “moved, leaked and distorted.” On the same day the dam saw its most severe flooding of the year. The key term in all of this is not distorted but leaked. As usual the Chinese authorities say everything is ok and within bounds.

What is this leaking? Is it water breaking through the concrete wall, pouring through the dam structure and gushing out of the other side? Nonsense.

Click on the link to understand how seepage works.

The leakage of the dam is about the seepage that is happening through the soil. Now that is super dangerous because it tells us that the Chinese authorities recognize there is a problem. Seepage underneath the dam is not something you can fix. Worse, it portends the liquefaction of the soil above which the entire dam structure rests. Essentially, once the soil loses its ability to sustain the weight of the dam due to the shear force acting through the soil particles, the soil becomes like quicksand. The dam fails catastrophically and suddenly.

What makes this threat imminent is the news that the dam is not anchored to the bedrock of the Yangtze river.

On 25th July 2020 1445 Rembau Standard Time, 3 days after our article on the 3 Gorges Dam first appeared, the Rembau Times is issuing a Red Alert on the structural integrity of the 3 Gorges Dam. Readers have been warned.

Updated with readers comments

We have several readers comments which we would like to address.

First is a link to understand the nature of soil mechanics and how quicksand formed for reader Calvin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eImtYyuQCZ8

Alerts from China goes like this. “There is a virus but there is no human to human transmission” means that the virus is deadly, spreading and could cause a global pandemic, as we are here today. When China raises a flood alert level, it means the water is already at your waist. Those who take China’s reassurances at face value need to be aware of how to decode Chinese official speak. Or as they say in Rembau, ‘fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, then i am bangang‘.

Second is to address a pertinent point by reader Snake Oil Baron. He points that the structure is sitting on the bedrock as opposed to being embedded in the bedrock. There is also a comment by reader Danny Archer who cites a Daily Mail article which includes comments by the Chinese authorities refuting any imminent danger to the structure of the dam : Read it here.

This is a key point which brings us to a further in depth explanation on how we came about to this Red Alert warning. Keep in mind for 2020, the predictions we have made so far are

  1. Hong Kong Protests will not gather steam after the “Alamo” style defeat at PolyU (#RememberPolyU). Proven correct.
  2.  US and China to engage in military conflict in fall 2020. Issued in Mar 30, 2020 (Still pending, but risk indicators pointing in the direction. Latest is that China is holding live firing drills). Status: Pending
  3. Oxy to trade at single digits. (Oh Oxy). Occidental closing price is $16.74 as of Jul 24, 2020. Waiting for 2Q20 and possible Oxy declaring pre-packaged bankruptcy: Status: Pending
  4. JP Morgan to take on much larger credit costs (See here). Proven correct based on 2Q20 results when JP Morgan took credit costs of $10.4 billion. Market has rallied, but JPM still in rot and has not regained past its $100 mark. Last trading at $98. Status: Proven Correct
  5. Singapore Election : We said we were not sure about Bloomberg’s view that it was a walk in the park and Bloomberg got Malaysian Election wrong [Fact]. Our view was that it was too close too call. Status: Wrong but not by much (Post election, PAP won 83 seats out of 93 seats but if you listen to the Singapore Government after election, they were definitely not jubilant. Bloomberg called it a Singapore version of a Political Shock.)
  6. Hong Kong economy to collapse by Dec 2020. (See here). Status: Pending
  7. In May 23, we said Chinese President Xi Jinping to be replaced (See here). Status: Pending
  8. Bersatu – UMNO Merger: We made 0 prediction only a recommendation. Refer to the article. Status : Not Applicable

Now to give some background on all the factors we took into account prior to initiating this Red alert warning.

A) 3 Gorges Dam project was shrouded in controversy, most notably for corruption, of which is endemic in China and that the dam was certified by those who built it. This last point is important.

B) Current water level in 3 Gorges dam reservoir is 160m. Design limit is 175m. Max height is 185m before the water cascades over the 3 Gorges dam. Water level reached 163.5m on Tuesday, 21 July. That means Dam is at 91% of design limit. Dam water level went up 8 metres in 2 days last week. Water reached 175m in 2010 which is shown below.

This is how things look when the dam is near capacity. This is in 2010. [Illustration to give idea of dam dimensions]
B2) Sitting on the bedrock versus embedded in the bedrock is all about the permeability constant in Darcy’s law. If the dam is embedded on the bedrock, the constant is 0. If it is sitting on the bedrock, the permeability is non zero. Readers can read this article here to understand this better. Bedrock can suffer from surface dissolution.

 

C) Alerts from China goes like this. “There is a virus but there is no human to human transmission” means that the virus is deadly, spreading and could cause a global pandemic, as we are here today. When China raises a flood alert level, it means the water is already at your waist. Those who take China’s reassurances at face value need to be aware of how to decode Chinese official speak. Or as they say in Rembau, ‘fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, then i am bangang‘.

D) China is already deploying the most extreme measures to contain the flood. Dykes and levies have been blown up to relieve the pressure upstream. This was the extreme measures taken in 1998.

Analysis of Yangtze river basin. (Ref: Analysis of historical floods on the Yangtze River, China: Characteristics
and explanations Fengling Yu  , Zhongyuan Chen b,⁎, Xianyou Ren c, Guifang Yang). Click on link for file.

E) China’s floods come in waves. We have already seen 2 flood waves this past 2 months. Flood No 3 has formed and is now on its way. The situation on the ground is like this.

Based on 1998 flood pattern, current flooding at 2020 is at between 50% to 60% level based on seasonal factor. There could be 40% more discharge to form. Peak discharge in 1998 was end Jul to early Aug. Hankou is now called Wuhan – yup that Wuhan!

The issue to us is that the maximum flowthrough rate of the Yangtze basin upstream is of the order of 100,000 m3/s. 3 Gorges Dam discharge capacity is at 60,000 m3/s max. The Dam cannot discharge the full volume of an upstream deluge by any means. Based on the analysis of the 1998 flood pattern, the worst is expected in last week July to 2nd week August. China is already at limit up level before major catastrophe. The major lakes such as Poyang lake are already filled up. Where will the water go?

G) There is increased seismic activity in China. Earthquakes cause an acceleration, measured in gravitational constant (g = 9.8m/s2) on the bedrock which the dam sits, of the order of 0.1 to maybe 0.4. This acts as a shearing force which can cause the dams foundations to fail.

F) Maximum flowthrough rate of the Yangtze basin upstream is of the order of 100,000 m3/s measured in 1998. Dam discharge capacity is at 60,000 m3/s max and downstream is already flooded. The ability of the dam to intercept flood waters is called the clipping rate, measured as a percentage of the inflow that is retained behind the dam (1-Outflow/Inflow) expressed in percentage.

This rate is not a simple linear function. With the dam at maximum capacity, and assuming a 100,000 m3/s inflow and maximum discharge of 60,000m3, the rate at the current configuration is 40%. So 60% of waters are retained behind the dam. That is ok when your dam level is at 150 metres and you got 25 metres to spare.  However, when the dam water level is at 165 metres and you got 10 metres to spare before design limit is exceeded and 20 metres to spare before overflowing, you got a problem.

In this illustration, comparing the dam’s operation in 2018 versus 2020 we see that the dam has already reached near peak capacity on Jul 21, at 164 metres. With the formation of Flood No 3 in the Upper Yangtze, the inflows over week 26 Jul to 14 Aug could exceed 60,000 m3, and may even be up to the peak in 1998 which was 100,000 m3. The dam has lost its clipping ratio capability as it can no longer impound water leading to overflowing in the dam by Week 3 Aug 2020. Credits: Sir Wenger Khairy Dam Engineering Consultancy 

Dam cannot discharge the full volume of an upstream deluge by any means. Based on the analysis of the 1998 flood pattern, the worst is expected in last week July to 2nd week August. China is already at limit up level before major catastrophe.

H) Chinese leadership have been silent on the 3 Gorges dam. Xi Jinping has said nothing. So has Le Keqiang. Now if the entire world is telling you that the dam is brittle, your own citizens are worried that the dam is brittle, and you will know the truth, what would you do? Remember think about it and you can see if they know that the dam is as strong as the propaganda pieces say it is, they would have come out and said something. If they are not sure or doubt it – they would remain quiet as they are right now.

China’s state run media is claiming that the perception of the floods is due to improved internet access.

This is the Rembau Times – we are discharging our public service after careful research as this story has not been adequately explained by major media outlets. It is a shame that many media outlets self-censor. We are under no such obligations to any regime and report based on analysis given all available data.

Further Notes.

For less stressful news, you can watch this video of a puppy arguing about getting a bath over here.  Apart from monitoring China flood situation, we have been following famous DogTubers like Mocha and Milk over here. But forget about starting your own DogTube channel (or CatTube or FishTube or even TortoiseTube) in Malaysia unless you are prepared to spend RM 50,000 on a FINAS license. That is really really really really dumb.

 


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10 COMMENTS

  1. This article keeps referring to the dam being on “soil” which could liquify. The dam is actually sitting on bedrock. We know this because the design is often criticized as “just sitting on bedrock” instead of being embedded in the bedrock.

  2. Where do you get your info? Alex Jones? Again, I dont care much about communist China, but as a graduate architect, concrete don’t bend like this. All those satellite photos are fake.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7227511/Three-Gorges-Dam-safe-say-China-officials-dismissing-online-rumors.html

    Please understand that before a structure is about to collapse, you will see a 45 degrees crack line, if a crack line is 90 degrees or horizontal, it is just hairline crack… aka paint crack. When there is 45 degrees crack line, it will continue to grow and grow, then suddenly the entire structure collapse. Concrete dont bend, what have you been watching? Looney tunes for science?

    Goodness, what have you become? A conspiracy theorist? You joining alex jones?

  3. It’s it liquefaction of the soil. Given the potential of the water logging of the soil over a sustained period, the alert is issued. Our reputation is on the line again.

    • Don’t just highlight prediction that you got right or pending, what about the Singapore election prediction where you said Bloomberg was wrong. The Bersatu-UMNO merge prediction I am with you, only timing. As for Malaysian economy collapsing due to LNG, I think we will dig our-self out of this mess, we will survive.

      As for the dam collapsing, I am not saying a black swan event wont happen, who knows. Anything is possible. But until it does, everything is just rumors.

      if the dam is about to collapse, or in the danger of collapsing, I bet the CCP will mobilize all of their army and build pipes and water pump all over the upstream towns and rivers to divert as much water away from the dam, maybe hundreds of super long pipe thousands of km into pearl river. you will see satellite images of mass military movement, and the USA will be on full alert not knowing what is going on.

      https://www.yangtze-river-cruises.com/assets/images/china-rivers/maps/china-river-map-570.jpg

      • Anyway, Singapore election is not wrong. Rembau time did not say PAP will lose but it mention that it is not an easy battle as opposed to what Blomberg stated “is a walk in a park”. Malaysian economy is not doing good except medical, glove sector and some technology stock. If you watch the stock of banks and big caps, they are still near to the lows of price level in March

        • Thanks Calvin. I have updated the post. On 3 Gorges Dam, the point is many forget that many in the CCP were opposed to it. The Dam passed with 2/3 majority, a historical revolt in 100% supporting role. The thing is people forget what other CCP leaders like Chen Yun had to say about the dam. Read up, read up and read up

      • They have mobilized the army, they have blown up dams and dykes. The point of a red alert is to provide ample time for folk to make preparations. Don’t trust the CCP to take care of their own citizens. They are telling that the floods is a perception due to increased internet access. This is a fact.

        Our basis is rooted in the principles of “Black Swan Theory” and common sense engineering design.
        It is a fact that the 3 Gorges Dam started to discharge water in June 24, 5 days before they actually announced it. The question that bugged me was why? After researching about the impact of a pressure gradient and seepage, my guess was that they were concerned about land slip at the bedrock and wanted to reduce the pressure gradient as quickly as possible. Remember here we are one month from June 24 and the dam level is still at danger level. Worse was the revelation by Asia Times that the water level rose 8m in 2 days earlier this week. Now if the dam limit is 175m and it raised 8m in 2 days, that means an increase of 4.5%. They only have 10% margin left. These are all facts.

        Why The Rembau Times has to step in is because major news outlets like the failing New York Times, WSJ and the FT are not accurately giving a predictive picture nor using data as we have done. There is no simulation available, when usually something like this could be simulated with the resources they have. But in order to not offend the CCP, they are keeping quiet.

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