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World Briefing / CHINA

'Quake lake' drained into empty towns

June 11, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

China declared victory in its fight to drain a lake that had threatened more than a million people living downstream after it formed behind a natural dam created when last month's massive earthquake triggered a landslide.

Water poured through a man-made sluice and engulfed empty towns. More than 250,000 people had been evacuated to higher ground in case the dam at Tangjiashan lake gave way all at once.

Sichuan province's top leader, local Communist Party chief Liu Qibao, called it a "decisive victory," the official New China News Agency said. It said more than half of the 8.8 billion cubic feet of water in the lake had been drained by early evening, easing pressure on the dam.

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