If the dam were to break it would send a huge wave of water downstream. The wave would be very similar to a tsunami except that it would not stop until it reached the ocean. This means that any city on the river and anywhere close would be destroyed. The wave would take homes, people, and businesses and wash them away downstream towards the ocean.
Especially considering the size of the resovoir behing the damn, which stretches some 600km, an enourmous wave almost unimaginable would be released downstream. This wave would take out the cities of Wuhan (pop. 9,785,392), Nanjing (pop. 8,109,100) and possibly Shanghai, the largest populated city in the world (pop. 23 million).
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