Thousands of people in China have already died from the devastating earthquake in Sichuan province and military troops have been working to prevent futher flooding of the “quake lake” from occurring.
To date, 250,000 people have been evacuated, although as many as 1.3 million people in the region may have to be relocated, as the lake’s barrier is breached.
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China readied on Friday to easepressure on a swelling “quake lake” threatening hundreds ofthousands of people in the southwestern province of Sichuanwhile forecast rains could bring more trouble on the weekend.
The Tangjiashan lake is the largest of the more than 30quake lakes formed when the May 12 earthquake triggeredlandslides that choked rivers, raising fears of secondaryflooding disasters after the tremor that killed more than69,000.
Water banked up behind Tangjiashan’s natural mud-and-rockdam edged to just 23 cm (9 inches) from a sluice built bytroops in recent days, state television said, which meantpartial discharge of floodwaters building up behind could occurwithin hours.
More than 250,000 people have been evacuated inquake-ravaged areas of Beichuan, Mianyang and Jiangyou, addingto the millions already displaced when their homes collapsed orwere badly damaged in the earthquake.
“Quake lakes” burst weeks after two powerful earthquakeshit the same area in 1786 and 1933, both killing several timesmore people than those who died directly from the tremors,Xinhua said.
Troops went door-to-door in some evacuated towns downstreamon Thursday to ensure residents had moved to higher ground.