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Alert Remains, Main Quake Lake Swells
    2008-06-10 16:09:57     CRIENGLISH.com
China remains on high alert as the water level of the Tangjiashan quake lake in the southwestern Sichuan Province continues to rise after two days of drainage.

Relief soldiers have been using explosives and firing shells to blast away rocks and mud holding back waters in the barrier lake.

Our reporter Dandan has the details.

As of 8am Monday, the volume of Tangjiashan lake was 245.7 million cubic meters and the daily average influx was 115 cubic meters per second.

In order to further alleviate the threat of bursting, rescue troops have blasted debris to speed the drainage of waters through a man-made channel, which was put into use last Saturday.

Fan Xiaoguang is an army official.

"We fired at the rock from close range to make sure the water gets through the channel. Usually, we shoot from about one hundred meters away but this time we did it from fifty meters. It gives a better result than shooting from further away."

The run-off channel is now getting wider and deeper.

Liu Ning is the chief engineer from the Ministry of Water Resources.

"The channel has let greater amounts of water flowing downstream after the blast. Therefore, the water volume in the lake can be reduced more quickly. And the bursting threat of the lake may be eliminated."

However, experts say the "quake lake" could still burst its banks due to increased rainfall and aftershocks.

Another aftershock jolted the lake at 11:04am Monday when rocks rolled down the surrounding mountains into the lake, posing higher pressure on the dam.

In response, more than 20 bulldozers and at least 100 armed police officers have been digging a new spillway, hoping to further accelerate the drainage.

The Tangjiashan barrier lake was formed after quake-triggered landslides blocked a river running through Beichuan County, one of the worst-hit areas in the May 12th earthquake.

More than 250,000 people in low-lying areas in Mianyang City have been relocated under a plan based on the assumption that one-third of the lake volume breached the dam.

Dandan, CRI news.
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