China’s giant man-made waterfall as floodgates are opened to send millions of tons of silt downstream

It is an scene of almost apocalyptic  proportions.

Bystanders are dwarfed as they stand watching  a tremendous rush of water gushing through gaps in a dam in China, part of a  carefully-choreographed operation to remove silt from the Yellow River in  Luoyang, in the Henan province.

This annual 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.

A resident takes a picture as the fierce waters plunge through three open slits in the dam during the controlled operationA resident takes a picture as the fierce waters plunge  through three open slits in the dam during the controlled operation

Floods in China: A paramilitary policeman watches water carrying silt gushing out of three specialised holes in the dam of the Xiaolangdi Reservoir on the Yellow River during the annual silt-washing operationFloods in China: A paramilitary policeman watches water  carrying silt gushing out of three specialised holes in the dam of the  Xiaolangdi Reservoir on the Yellow River during the annual silt-washing  operation

The lone soldier stands guard as sediment-laden flood water gushes through the Xiaolangdi Dam, unleashing tons of waterThe lone soldier stands guard as sediment-laden flood  water gushes through the Xiaolangdi Dam, unleashing tons of water

 

Umbrellas at the ready: Local residents turn out to watch the annual event - and try to avoid a drenchingUmbrellas at the ready: Local residents turn out to  watch the annual event – and try to avoid a drenching

The silt-carrying water gushes out of three  specialised holes in the dam of the  Xiaolangdi Reservoir on the Yellow River  during the annual silt-washing  operation.

The Yellow River authority  says such  operations lowers the river bed in the lower reach of the river by an  average  of 2.03 meters each year.

The dam stands at 154m (505ft) tall and is  1,317m (4,321ft) wide. When it was built opened in 2000, following a six-year  construction, it had cost US$3.5billion to construct

 

A cloud of water: The floodwater churns through Yellow River as bystanders stand and stareA cloud of water: The floodwater churns through Yellow  River as bystanders stand and stare

The Yellow River authority says such operation in the past 13 years have washed away 390 million tonnes of silt and lowered the river bed in the lower reach by an average of 2.03 meters.The Yellow River authority says such operation in the  past 13 years have washed away 390 million tons of silt and lowered the river  bed in the lower reach by an average of 2.03 meters.

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