Photo by Du Huaju/Corbis

Heavy rains have brought water levels at China‘s Three Gorges Dam to within spitting distance of the massive structure’s maximum capacity. Chinese officials have defended the controversial dam, saying that it would be able to withstand 10,000-year floods. However the country’s summer rains are the worst they have been in 10 years, with widespread flooding causing the deaths of at least 823 people.

flooding, three gorges dam, hydroelectric power, climate change and weather, china, asia, energy

According to the state-run news agency, the dam is at 90 percent capacity. The government has also defended the dam — the world’s largest hydroelectric project, whose construction displaced a million people — by saying that it would control flooding along the Yangtze River.

The rains are expected to continue.

Via Guardian UK