Water Gushes from China Quake Lake
By VOA News
10 June 2008
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, the sluice channel at the Tangjiashan quake-formed lake is seen in southwest China's Sichuan Province, 09 Jun 2008
China says the water level in the Tangjiashan quake-lake in southwestern Sichuan province is finally dropping, after three days of drainage efforts.
The official Xinhua news agency said Tuesday that water was flowing out of the lake at 1,760 cubic meters per second, or 16 times faster than the estimated influx of water.
Drainage efforts began Saturday, and Chinese troops were forced to use anti-tank weapons to blast away rocks to speed up the drainage when water continued to rise.
The lake formed when a quake-caused landslide formed a dam in the Tongkou river.
About 250,000 people were evacuated from homes downstream.
In related news, China fired fifteen government officials Monday for malpractice related to earthquake relief efforts in Sichuan province.
State media reported the officials were blamed for illegal behavior and a late response to the seven-point-nine magnitude earthquake that struck May 12. Thirteen other employees were punished for wrongdoing involving quake relief.
A government official, who declined to be named, said the malpractice caused a "very bad influence" among members of the public. He did not elaborate.
More than 69,000 people were killed in the quake and millions of other people were left homeless.