Workers are planning to dig channels to reduce the increasing water in a quake-formed lake which is in danger of bursting and poses threat to residents downstream in southwest China's Sichuan province.
Jiao Yong, vice minister of water resources, said an armed police squad for hydroelectric missions had started work at the Tangjiashan Lake site.
Construction workers and equipment would be airlifted to the lake site as continuous landslides had made the area inaccessible by road, according to Jiao.
The Tangjiashan quake-formed lake is 3.2 km upstream from the Beichuan county seat. As of Friday, the lake had stored about 100 million cubic meters of water. Its water level in front of the dam rose 2.6 meters on Friday.
Experts warned if measures were not taken, it would probably burst, posing serious threat to the safety of lives and property of downstream residents.
Up to Friday afternoon, tens of thousands of residents near the Tangjiashan Lake area had been evacuated.
Meanwhile, 350 armed police and equipment reached the Mianyang Nanjiao Airport. Some 190 of them and 10 bulldozers would be airlifted to Tangjiashan on Saturday if weather permits.
Dozens of quake-formed lakes had emerged in the worst hit areas in Sichuan. Authorities and experts have been closely monitoring the risky lakes.
(Xinhua News Agency May 24, 2008)