Tibet evacuates 25,000 people from landslide-formed barrier lake

By Xu Hailin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/11 23:13:39




More than 25,000 people have been evacuated from the homes in the Tibet Autonomous Region as water levels continue to rise in a landslide-formed barrier lake. Photos: VCG


More than 25,000 people have been evacuated from the homes in the Tibet Autonomous Region as water levels continue to rise in a landslide-formed barrier lake, local authorities said Sunday.

The municipal government of Changdu in Tibet said the water level has risen 57.44 meters with an estimated 469 million cubic meters of water in the growing lake as of early Sunday.

Forty-two temporary settlements, equipped with basic living necessities, have been set up for relocated villagers, with medical teams stationed near the settlements.

Experts have also been sent to monitor the barrier lake and the local area to detect other possible geological threats.

"We cannot predict when the danger will be eliminated at the landslide-hit area in the township of Bolo, Jomda County in Qamdo, Tibet," an employee surnamed Hou of the Ministry of Emergency Management told the Global Times on Sunday.

Emergency rescue work was still underway and any development of the situation would be announced immediately, Hou said.

The landslide on November 3 was the second to hit the area in under a month. Both landslides have dammed the Jinsha River and barrier lakes have reached a depth of 55 meters.

"The incident could be a lesson for authorities. They should pay more attention when designing mega projects, which could be a factor that changes regional weather at a geologically fragile area, bringing more rainfall that causes landslides," Yang Fuqiang, senior advisor on climate and energy at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the Global Times on Sunday.

A sluice channel has been dug to discharge water in the barrier lake. About 18 excavators and 52 people were working at the scene to deepen and widen the channels, the ministry announced on its official WeChat account on Saturday.

Local authorities also said 509 soldiers and 90 firefighters have been sent to the disaster areas for rescue and flood relief.



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