July 3, 2008

Debris Blasted to Ease Pressure on Rising Lake in China’s Quake Zone

Debris blasted to ease pressure on rising lake in China's quake zone

QINGCHUAN, Sichuan, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Engineers on Wednesday blasted blockages on a river at risk of bursting its banks and threatening 160,000 people in southwest China's earthquake-battered Sichuan Province.

The Qingjiang River, near Qingchuan County, where more than 4,600 died in the May 12 earthquake, was blocked in several places by rock slides, causing three "quake lakes" formed after the May 12 earthquake.

Armed police working at the Shibangou section of the river used six tonnes of explosives to blast a blockage up to 80 meters high.

Cao Weiping, the armed police officer who supervised the blasting, said more explosions were planned to deepen the sluice.

Two sets of explosions were carried out in May at Shibangou, but the river has kept rising since the flood season started in June.

Thirty-four quake lakes were formed after the earthquake. At the Tangjiashan quake lake, the most dangerous, more than 600 armed police worked day and night to dig a channel to discharge the water before defusing the flood danger in mid-June.

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