China fears quake lakes bursting in devastated Sichuan
(dpa) - Fearing a new threat of flooding from a swelling quake lake in quake-hit Sichuan province, China is Monday preparing to dynamite parts of the massive rock, rubble and earth wall to release water.
Landslides following the 8.0-magnitude temblor that struck on May 12 and left 62,664 people dead and 23,775 more missing, formed 35 quake lakes, according to Xinhua news agency.
Aftershocks and heavy rains forecast for the area over the next three days are a major threat for the lake near Tangjiashan, 3 kilometres from the May 12 epicentre county of Beichuan.
On Sunday, an aftershock measuring 6.4 by Chinese seismologists, struck the region, killing six people, reported Xinhua.
The epicentre of the aftershock was in Qingchuan county of Sichuan province. The quake destroyed or severely damaged about 270,000 houses.
Premier Wen Jiabao ended his second visit to the earthquake-hit region on Sunday. He estimated that the number of dead from the 8.0- magnitude quake could "further climb to a level of 70,000 or 80,000 or more."