Very yellow, very violent, Chinese tourists swarm to Xiaodangdi dam to admire the miraculous

Updated:Fri, Aug 2, 2013 08:45 AM   By Bernd Chang

Xiaolangdi Dam,Yellow Dragon

"Yellow River Xiaolangdi Waterfall-Watching Festival" is becoming a hot tourist attraction in Luoyang, Henan province. The festival lasts from June 20th to July 10th. The giant man-made waterfall (or actually siltfall) draws tens of thousands of Chinese tourists every year to admire the seemingly unlimited capability of the Chinese nation.

While Chinese media hail the silt-washing operation of Xiaolangdi Dam as miraculous 'Yellow Dragon roaring' spectacle, Chinese netizens call it too yellow, too violent that reflects the uncontrolled soil erosion disaster of China.
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"Yellow River Xiaolangdi Waterfall-Watching Festival" is becoming a hot tourist attraction in Luoyang, Henan province in central China. The festival lasts from June 20th to July 10th annually.

When the Xiaolangdi Dam opened the floodgates to discharge silt and water as an annual silt-washing operation of the dam on July 5, 2013, pictures of the scene are so  impressive that many Chinese compete to describe it more vividly.

"It looks like sandstorm", comments one netizen.

"It is man-made waterfall", some echo the official standing.

"But it looks more like a siltfall", some modify the official addressing.

But most Chinese media describe it as "Yellow Dragon roaring" spectacle. Oh, yes, very vivid description. When an uncontrolled yellow dragon roars, the world will shake, as predicated by famous politician Napoleon.

We do not know whether Napoleon's prophesy has come true, but we believe at least some of those standing beside the floodgates of Xiaolangdi Dam will shake when watching millions of tons of  silt-carrying water or actually water-carrying silt gushing out through gaps in the dam.

It must really be an unforgettable experience! And this is also one of the prime reasons that  tens of thousands of Chinese tourists swarm to the Xiaolangdi Dam, now one of the must-see tourist spots in Luoyang.

But not every one likes the scene. Chinese netizens call the scene as too yellow, too violent (a Chinese internet meme that originated from a news report on CCTV Xinwen Lianbo program allegedly quoting a schoolgirl describing a web page) that reflects the severe soil erosion on the upper reaches of the Yellow River.

One comments on says:

It obviously indicates the severe problem of water loss and soil erosion, but they enjoy it as a scenery! The heavily silt-contained flood is so eye catching? 

The Xiaolangdi Dam, located in Mengqin county, Luoyang city, Henan province is multipurpose structure. The whole project consists of ten intake towers, nine flood and sediment tunnels, six power tunnels and an underground powerhouse. The main objectives of the project are: flood control, ice jam control, sedimentation control, irrigation, water supply, as well as hydroelectric power generation. Following the completion of the project a vast reservoir in 2000 covering 272 square kilometers (about 105 square miles) has been formed above the dam. The facility has a total installed capacity of 1,836 MW and generates up to 5.1 TWh annually with the help of six 306 MW turbines. The dam stands 154 m (505 ft) tall and 1,317 m (4,321 ft) wide, and cost US$3.5 billion to construct. 

The Xiaolangdi Dam conducts silt and water discharging operation in June or July every year. The dam is so designed that different tunnels are used to discharge silt and water respectively.

This annual silt-washing operation sees more than 30 million tonnes of silt sent downstream a year, with more than 390 million tonnes shifted this way over the last 13 years, according to authority.


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