70,000 Homes Collapse in New China Aftershock

69 reservoirs in 'immediate danger'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted May 25, 2008 8:12 AM CDT
A man walks among the ruins of collapsed buildings in southwest China's Sichuan Province.   (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Quake-devastated China suffered yet another major setback today when it was rocked by the strongest aftershock since the May 12 earthquake, Bloomberg reports. At least one person was killed and 400 injured when a 5.8 magnitude quake toppled some 70,000 homes in Sichuan province, according to Reuters. The quake hit as troops laden with explosives were trekking to blow a hole in a dam to relieve flooding pressure triggered by a mudslide into a giant lake.

Authorities hope to lower the level of the lake before the dam bursts, causing a flash flood. China is facing repeated aftershocks as it struggles to also deal with secondary quake disasters like flooding and landslides, epidemics, food and water shortages, and sheltering 5 million displaced people. Some 69 reservoirs are in "immediate danger" of bursting, said a government official.