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Soldiers, engineers evacuated from quake lake
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By 10 pm on Saturday, about 135,500 cubic meters of mud and rocks had been removed from Tangjiashan barrier lake.

Soldiers from the armed police and experts had been working at the site against extremely adverse conditions for six consecutive days and nights.

Their combined efforts created a 475-meter-long, 12-meter wide channel to divert waters from the giant blockage. Originally, the channel was only supposed to be 10 meters wide.

But experts say the canal will reduce but not totally eliminate damage from the overflowing water to the lower reaches.

The overflowing water is expected to reach the downtown area of Mianyang city within five hours after overflowing its barrier lake banks.

The evacuees, mainly members of the water and electricity section of the People's Armed Police Force, prepare to board on the helicopter at the dam site of quake-induced Tangjiashan Lake in southwest China's Sichuan Province, May 31, 2008. The first group of 15 earthquake relief workers handling the Tangjiashan quake-formed lake in China's Sichuan Province boarded a helicopter at 8:35 a.m. Saturday and were evacuated from the dam site. (Xinhua Photo)

(CCTV June 2, 2008)


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