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Alert Remains as Main Quake Lake Keeps Swelling

China remains on alert Monday as the water level of Tangjiashan quake-formed lake in the southwest China province of Sichuan continues to rise after two days of drainage.

The water level in the lake reached 742.58 meters above sea level as of 8:00 AM on Monday, a rise of 0.92 meters in 24 hours and 2.21 meters higher than the manmade spillway that began operation on Saturday morning.

As of 8:00 AM on Monday, the lake's volume was 245.7 million cubic meters and the daily average influx was 115 cubic meters per second.

The sluice appears to be operating smoothly, but water resources authorities are still keeping close watch at the site to monitor the drainage.

A moderate rainfall and massive landslides following a 4.8-magnitude aftershock on Sunday afternoon have posed higher pressure on the dam, and experts are still monitoring the potential impact.

Military engineers have fired short-range missiles to blast boulders in the channel to accelerate drainage. The Chengdu Military Command of the People's Liberation Army sent an additional 120-strong team to the mission on Monday.

The water flow through the sluice channel has been widened to about 10 meters from less than five after Sunday's blast.

The Tangjiashan "quake lake", formed after quake-triggered landslides from Tangjiashan Mountain, blocked the Tongkou River running through Beichuan County, one of the worst-hit areas in the May 12 quake.

The largest of more than 30 quake lakes in Sichuan after the quake, Tangjiashan lake threatens some 1 million residents living in the lower reaches of the river once the lake overflows.

More than 250,000 people in low-lying areas in Mianyang have been relocated under a plan based on the assumption that one third of the lake volume breached the dam.

(Xinhua News Agency June 9, 2008)

Related Stories
- Aftershock Violently Rocks 'Quake Lake' Dam in SW China
- Main Quake Lake Overflows into Sluice Channel
- Minister: Quake Lake Still Dangerous
- Drainage of Main Quake Lake Goes Smoothly
- Drainage of Main Quake Lake Starts
- Premier Wen Inspects Tangjiashan Lake
- Flood Warning Issued for Tangjiashan Lake

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