Lakes formed by China quake threaten floods, more disaster awaits survivors

Lakes formed by China quake threatening floods, more disaster awaits survivors

Barrier lakes formed by the quake that hit a mountainous county in China on Sunday, August 3, are now filled to capacity by the steady stream of rain, and are on the verge of spilling over to the villages below, according to a report on US News.

If this happens, more tragedy awaits the quake survivors as well as the rescuers who are still working hard to find more survivors or recovering bodies from underneath the rubble of collapsed homes.

There are also seven power stations downstream, which could potentially be damaged by the flood from the newly formed lakes.  If the flood hits these stations, massive power outages could affect neighboring counties and provinces they serve.

Lakes formed by China quake threatening floods, more disaster awaits survivors
Photo credit: South China Morning Post

The 6.1-magnitude earthquake damaged houses and property, also triggering a landslide.  The initial d***h toll was pegged at 367 but has now been increased to at least 410 after rescue and recovery efforts done by the survivors as well as the rescuers who quickly arrived on the scene.

Conflicting reports for the d***h toll reflect the difficulty the Chinese authorities face in reaching the area, with roads leading to Ludian County in Yunnan blocked by the landslides in the past few days.

Moreover, torrential rains are still hampering further rescue efforts.  Communication lines are also damaged as well as electricity, keeping the area essentially isolated and dark.

Photo credit: The Southern
Photo credit: The Southern

Huge rescue mission

The quake sparked a huge rescue mission, with the president sending 1,000 troops over to the affected area to survey the damage and help in every way they can.  Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also flew to the scene on Monday, leading the investigation of the earthquake’s origin as well as rallying the troops.

The government sent a 30-man quick-response team immediately after the quake.  Expecting there would be structures and homes damaged by the strong tremors, the government also sent 3,000 coats, 3,000 quilts, 3,000 folding beds, and 2,000 tents for those rendered homeless by the incident.

More disaster awaits survivors as lakes formed by China quake threaten flooding
Rescuers listen for possible survivors underneath the rubble
Photo credit: AFP

Injured people were also transported to a safe place for treatment, with rescue teams instructed to prioritize saving the lives of the survivors and those still trapped inside the buildings; instead of recovering the d**d bodies.

Majority of the casualties were from the city of Zhaotong, with the epicenter found to be just 29 km (18 miles) from the city.

Other areas also felt the tremors, including the rest of Yunnan province; though the provinces of Sichuan and Guizhou were also hit, but to a lesser extent.  The earthquake was also shallow, striking at a depth of 10 km below the ground.

According to a report on CNN, state news agency Xinhua announced more than 12,000 homes were damaged in Ludian alone.  The county is home to around 439,000 people, most of whom were displaced by the quake.

More disaster awaits survivors as lakes formed by China quake threaten flooding
Photo credit: Today Online