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Preparations of blasting barrier lake underway
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Over in Beichuan county, Tangjiashan quake lake is posing a dangerous threat to thousands of local villagers. Some of them have been evacuated from the area as a hydro-power station is working on preventing a major flood. A look now at what preparations are being made before blasting the barrier of Tangjiashan lake.

Professionals and materials are airdropped for operations to blow a barrier lake at Tangjiashan, Beichuan County, which was formed by landslides after the May 12 earthquake and now blocks the river Jianhe.(Xinhua Photo)

Xiangshui hydropower station is located downstream of the Tongkou River and has opened all of its flood gates to discharge water from the reservoir. The river level is now lowered by 15 meters. The aim is to make room for the discharged water from Tangjiashan Lake -- after the blast. This hydropower station can hold about 8 million cubic meters of water. As one of the three major reservoirs, the station has a capacity for two thirds of the discharged water from the Tangjiashan quake lake.

Yang Jianming, director of Xiangshui Hydropower Station, said, "Tongkou hydro power station in the upper reaches of the river can also discharge part of the water from Tangjiashan quake lake. It can store 20 million cubic meters of water. "

Letting the water go while keeping people away from danger is the top priority here. Hundreds of people who live in the lower reaches of the river have already been evacuated to higher land for safety. This is one of the temporary spots in Huangjiang village of Beichuan county. Nearly 500 people from the nearby areas have settled down. Drinking water is delivered twice a day. PLA soldiers have also dug out aquaducts to prevent heavy rain from leaking through the tents.

If a doctor is needed, villagers don't have to walk too far. There is a moving medical treatment van that drives around the community daily to offer medicine and educate people on disease prevention.

Chang Lirong, director of Treatment Dept., No. 306 PLA Hospital, said, "We pay attention to people's hygiene surroundings in each of these temporary communities first. Second, it's our job to report on any epidemics that we might be suspicious of."

More than 2,000 people in seven towns and villages in the lower reaches of Tangjiashan quake lake have been evacuated. They are among hundreds of thousands of people who have already moved to a safe location.

(CCTV May 26, 2008)


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