Saturday, May 17, 2008

Chinese Flee Flood Threat From Quake

Thousands of earthquake survivors fled tent camps and villages across the ravaged landscape of southwestern China on Saturday after the government warned that several lakes and rivers were getting dangerously close to overflowing because landslides have blocked water flow.

Early on Sunday, a tremor with a magnitude of 6.0 struck northern Sichuan, one of the largest quakes since last Monday. Other tremors over the past several days have caused new landslides.The danger of flooding on Saturday was so severe that some rescue workers had to abandon their efforts, at least temporarily, to find people buried beneath rubble in Beichuan, one of the hardest-hit counties. Such interruptions could doom the relatively few who could be expected to be alive under debris.

Landslides continue to pose one of the greatest threats across the mountainous terrain of Sichuan. Daily aftershocks and tremors — at least 168 significant ones since Monday — set off new slides. At least 13 rivers and lakes have been dammed up by the quake

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