China Races to Clear Quake-Dammed Rivers

Rainy season threatens to compound damage
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2008 12:45 PM CDT
A Mig-26 helicopter swings an excavator to the quake lake in Tangjiashan, Beichuan County, southwest China's Sichuan Province Monday, May 26, 2008.    (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhu Wei)
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(Newser) – China is struggling to clear rivers and lakes dammed with earthquake debris before the impending rainy season worsens flooding, the AP reports. In Beichuan county, 1,800 soldiers arrived today, each bearing 22 pounds of explosives to blast obstructions impeding access to a nearby lake, and helicopters are airlifting heavy equipment. But thunderstorms could strike the region today and tomorrow.

Dozens of lakes in Sichuan province are backed up, worsening the situation in already quake-hit regions. “The water was covering the road, and two days later I could not see the roof of my house anymore,” said one resident. “I have nothing now. My village, it's all become a sea.” And near Wolong, researchers reported the capture of one of the two remaining missing pandas.