In China, Race to Ease Pressure on Dammed River

The New York Times reports on efforts to release pressure from the dammed Bai He river that threatens millions of earthquake survivors who live downstream:

During the past two days, more than 600 people have been working around the clock to create a sluice above the village of Tianlin, according to Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency. The channel, being dug by hand and with excavating machines that were airlifted to the site, would drain water from a fast-rising reservoir created by an avalanche of rock and mud that spilled into the Bai He River during earthquake.

In recent days, at least 160,000 people have been evacuated, although hundreds of thousands of others are still living downstream, most of them in temporary camps that are proving a formidable challenge to the government as it struggles to provide food, water and shelter for more than 15 million displaced people.


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