A soldier installs explosives at the Shibangou quake-formed lake to widen a channel to release water in earthquake-hit Qingchuan, in southwest China's Sichuan province Sunday, June 8, 2008. A "relatively strong" aftershock shook a massive quake-formed lake Sunday that had been threatening to flood more than 1 million people, sending landslides tumbling down surrounding mountains, a state news agency reported. (AP Photo/Color China Photo) ** CHINA OUT **
Chengdu, China (AP) A top Chinese Communist Party official is declaring a “decisive victory” after solders were able to blast away debris blocking a huge earthquake-formed lake. More than half of the 66 billion gallons of water had drained off by early evening, flooding an evacuated and earthquake-ravaged town.
Building pressure on the earth-and-debris dam had threatened more than a million people downstream. Everything from tv sets and barrels to the bodies of quake victims could be seen in the rushing water.
Also today, searchers discovered the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed deep in the mountains may 31st. The remains of a five-person crew and 12 quake victims were found at the site.
The 7.9 magnitude quake on may 12th killed more than 69,000 people, with more than 17,500 others still missing. The government also says about 5 million people are homeless.