Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Report from reuters:

MIANZHU, China (Reuters) - Chinese soldiers were working non-stop to dig a giant sluice to ease pressure on a swelling "quake lake", with plans to evacuate 100,000 people to avert a new disaster, state media said.

Soldiers and police trekked to the Tangjiashan lake carrying dynamite ready to blast the mud and rubble blocking the flow of water from a river and creating the largest of 35 quake lakes formed when landslides triggered by the massive tremor blocked rivers.

Some 30,000 people living below the lake in and around Beichuan in the mountainous southwestern province have been evacuated as a precaution.

In Mianyang, 150,000 people will have been evacuated by midnight on Tuesday, in line with a contingency plan should one third of the lake's 300 million cubic meters of water burst the dam, Xinhua news agency said.

China on Tuesday put the death toll from the earthquake that struck Sichuan province on May 12 at 67,183, with the figure certain to rise with 20,790 listed as missing.

Nearly 362,000 people were injured.

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