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Swelling lake to be drained through giant sluice
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Pressure in the Tangjiashan barrier lake continues to build, raising the potential for further disaster. Feverish, round the clock efforts are underway to build a giant sluice to drain the lake before it's too late.

The aerial photo taken on May 26, 2008 shows Chinese armed policemen work on the landslide mud that formed the Tangjiashan quake lake near Beichuan County in southwest China's Sichuan Province. The earthquake-induced lake is at risk of bursting and threatening thousands of people downstream. (Xinhua/Zhu Wei)

More than 10 excavators and bulldozers are at work non stop, all day and through the night. More equipment is being airlifted to the construction site by Mig-26 helicopters. Troop reinforcements continue to trek to the site to add their weight to the effort. Engineers, soldiers and workers take turns working in shifts.

The urgent objective is to complete the sluice as soon as possible. The lake had risen to 725.3 metres on Monday. That's just 26 metres below the barrier's lowest point. Downstream areas have been evacuated and people living in those areas removed to safety.

(CCTV May 27, 2008)

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