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Authorities work to remove Yingxiu barrier lakes

08-17-2010 19:43 BJT Special Report:China Fights Worst Flood in Decades |

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The landslide rubble and debris has formed two barrier lakes on the Minjiang River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, in Yingxiu Township.

Yingxiu was the epicenter of the May 2008 quake. Now, local residents are dealing with this landslide tragedy just after the community was getting back on its feet. For the second time in two years, the 8,000 villagers had to run for their lives. Floodwater surged into the town last Friday, triggering landslides, burying houses near the river and blocking the only highway linking Wenchuan to the provincial capital of Chengdu. Authorities are continuing to work to remove the barrier lake.

Torrential rainfall triggered the landslides, which formed the barrier lakes.

Rising water levels posed the biggest threat during rescue operations.

Crews are now using controlled explosions to clear loose sections of the landslide rubble and debris forming the lakes.

Tuesday's work was successful. Authorities have now released two-thirds of the flood waters, the level has now dropped to 1 meter.

Liu Zhiyong, said, "The effect of the explosion was good. The explosion was a small-scale one. We have planned a series of more explosions to clear all debris."

The explosions are an important step to clearing the debris blocking the Minjiang river.

Officials say after all of the flood water has been drained from the barrier lakes, rescue teams will widen the river bank to prevent it from becoming blocked again.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: CNTV

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