Race to drain China quake lake

Lake created by last month's earthquake threatens to cause widespread flooding.

    The lake now has a volume of more than 80,000
    Olympic-sized swimming pools [EPA]

    Heavy equipment has been flown in by helicopter to the remote mountain area.

     

    Officials hope the operation to drain the lake will prevent the dam from bursting and causing massive flooding.

     

    The work has been made all the more urgent with aftershocks continuing to trigger further landslides and forecasts of heavy rains threatening to put more pressure on the lakes.

     

    In depth: China quake


    Video: Parents anger over collapsed schools



    Map: Quake disaster zone



    Pictures: Devastation

    As of late Wednesday, the surface of the lake was edging closer to the top of the dam, reaching just 2m below the lowest point of the blockage, according to the Xinhua news agency.

     

    A contingency plan has been put in place to evacuate some 1.3 million more people from towns and villages downstream if the operation to divert the water does not go according to plan.

     

    The number of dead from last month's quake has topped 69,000 with nearly 18,000 more still listed as missing and 5 million people left homeless.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Improving eco-efficiency within a capitalist growth-oriented system will not save the environment.