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Chaohu and other Chinese Cities

On Aug. 22, China’s Anhui province announced the city of Chaohu was “cancelled.” That is, the buildings, infrastructure and inhabitants remained where they were on Aug. 21, but the city formerly known as Chaohu had been divided into three parts and parceled off into the nearby cities of Hefei, Wuhu and Ma'anshan. This came as rather a surprise to the residents because, as NPR noted, there had been no consultation with Chaohu’s residents and no official notice of the change. This redistribution has made the city of Hefei, now including Chao Lake, the largest by area in China.

Other cities that vanished in China include the stunning submerged ruins ofthe ancient Lion City, which was flooded in the 1950s. It still contains intact relics that would have been destroyed in the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976, when Chairman Mao Zedong sought to eradicate capitalist, traditional and cultural elements, had the town remained above water.

Also in China, the controversial Three Gorges Dam Project created a 370 mile-long lake that submerged more than 1,000 villages, towns, and cities, forcing more than one million people to relocate. Experts estimated that 1,300 sites of cultural and archeological importance were submerged.

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