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China rushes to evacuate thousands in danger from quake lakes

| 05.27.2008 | 10:56:036002 |
May 27 '08: Reuters has reported Chinese officials rushing to evacuate more than 100,000 people who could be in danger of drowning if more than 35 'quake lakes' caused by landslides after the recent earthquake burst. Chinese state-run news agnecy Xinhua reported a possible evacuation of up to 1.3 million people.
At risk are those communities below the Tangjiashan Lake - which was caused by the quake. "On Tuesday, at least 600 engineers and soldiers were working around the clock to dig a sluice for the blockage with the aid of 29 excavators and bulldozers," Xinhua reported. CNN reported, "Tangjiashan Lake was formed when landslides from the May 12 earthquake blocked a section of the Jianhe River. It is holding back 130 million cubic meters of water."

"Relief officials have ordered the immediate evacuation those in the region whose towns would be swept away if the dam burst," the NY Times wrote. "With roads throughout the area already destroyed, army teams dropped earthmoving equipment close to the lake by helicopter." Xinhua said Mig-26 helicopters were being used.

Reuters continued its coverage "The lake had risen to 725.3 meters on Monday, only 26 meters below the lowest part of the barrier ... The massive relief effort, which involves food, tents and clothing for millions, as well as reconstructing housing and getting help to isolate[ed] villages, is expected to take up to three years."

National Blueprint Tags: Response & Containment, Economic & Infrastructure.