Due to the weakness in mechanical properties of chlorite schist and the high in situ stress in Jinping II hydropower station, the rock mass surrounding the diversion tunnels located in chlorite schist was observed with extremely large deformations. This may significantly increase the risk of tunnel instability during excavation. In order to assess the stability of the diversion tunnels laboratory tests were carried out in association with the petrophysical properties, mechanical behaviors and water-weakening properties of chlorite schist. The continuous deformation of surrounding rock mass, the destruction of the support structure and a large-scale collapse induced by the weak chlorite schist and high in situ stress were analyzed. The distributions of compressive deformation in the excavation zone with large deformations were also studied. In this regard, two reinforcement schemes for the excavation of diversion tunnel bottom section were proposed accordingly. This study could offer theoretical basis for deep tunnel construction in similar geological conditions.