Fear of Floods Grips China Earthquake Area

Mark Magnier reports from , Sichuan province. From the LA Times:

The orange-suited emergency workers had just pulled someone out of the rubble alive Saturday when a chilling cry reverberated around the tilting high-rises, the toppled construction cranes and the market littered with bodies: The valley was about to flood.

In a panic, thousands of soldiers, earthquake survivors and aid workers raced headlong for the hills, some helping babies and the elderly negotiate a mountain of jagged debris. “Move it!” yelled one commander. “Don’t worry about your equipment — just get to higher ground,” barked another.

Authorities issued the warning to evacuate Beichuan, fearing that water from a choked river might overrun this obliterated town near the epicenter of Monday’s magnitude 7.9 quake. The official New China News Agency reported that a lake created by earthquake-triggered landslides “may burst its banks at any time.”

On China Rises, Tim Johnson has compiled “The Quake in Numbers.”

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