Water level at Chinas quake lake likely to fall today

June 10th, 2008 - 2:16 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, June 10 (ANI): The water level in Tangjiashan quake-formed lake in southwest Chinas Sichuan Province is expected to fall on Tuesday, three days after drainage efforts began.

The volume of water flowing into the lakes drainage channel has increased, but the authorities still worry that heavy rainfall and aftershocks can cause a breach in the lakes dam leading to flash floods, the China Daily reported.

Drainage of the quake lake through a manmade spillway speeded up to 500 cubic meters per second on Tuesday morning, far faster than the estimated influx of 110 cubic meters per second earlier, said Ge Zhenfeng, commander-in-chief at the Tangjiashan quake lake emergency headquarters.

The headquarters has tightened up monitoring of the site and has in the meantime begun to evacuate some of the emergency workers, mostly soldiers with the Peoples Liberation Army and the armed police, he said.

More than 200-armed police officers have been working around the clock for four days to drain the lake, which threatens 1.3 million residents living in the lower reaches of the river if it overflows.

A manmade spillway started to drain the lake on Saturday morning and military engineers have fired short-range missiles several times on Sunday and Monday to blast boulders in the channel and speed up the outflow.

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

The Tangjiashan quake lake, formed after quake-triggered landslides from Tangjiashan Mountain, blocked the Tongkou River running through Beichuan County, one of the worst hit areas in the May 12 earthquake. (ANI)

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