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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's massive Three Gorges dam is facing a major test of the flood control function that was one of the key justifications for its construction, as torrential rains swell the rivers that feed it, state media said Monday.

Much of China has been suffering flooding and landslides after weeks of torrential downpours. At least 146 people have died since the start of this month, as a result of the rains, and another 40 are missing.

The peak flow of water hitting the giant reservoir on the Yangtze River, China's longest, will be higher than in 1998 when devastating floods killed over 4,000 people and forced some 18 million to relocate, the official China Daily said.

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