LUDIAN, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Relief workers on Tuesday completed digging a channel to drain a barrier lake that threatened thousands of people following last week's earthquake in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
The completion of the drainage canal at 5 p.m. Tuesday meant the lake was no longer a time bomb for downstream residents, said Liang Dongchun, a senior officer with the Chengdu Area Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).
Excavation of the channel, which is 8 meter deeps and 5 meters wide,involved more than 1,100 soldiers from the PLA and the Armed Police over the last seven days, he said.X The barrier lake is near the border of Ludian and Qiaojia counties, where most of the 600 plus quake deaths were reported.
It was formed when a landslide deposited 12 million cubic meters of rubble in the Niulan River. Nearly 13,000 residents were evacuated.
The quake on Aug. 3 was the strongest to hit Yunnan Province in 14 years. It killed more than 600 people and destroyed 80,000 homes in Ludian County and surrounding areas.