China warns of burst dams after deadly earthquake

Chinese officials warned on Wednesday of calamities downstream from broken rivers and dams strained to bursting point after the deadly earthquake in Sichuan province on Monday. The death toll from China's deadliest quake in decades has continued to rise to nearly 15,000.

Officials warned of the increased strain on local dams, warning they
could burst. Two hydropower stations in Maoxian county, where 7,000
residents and tourists remain stranded near the epicentre, were also
"seriously damaged".

Landslides have blocked the flow of two rivers in northern Qingchuan
county, forming a huge lake in a region where 1,000 have already died
and 700 are buried, Xinhua said.

"The rising water could cause the mountains to collapse. We
desperately need geological experts to carry out tests and fix a
rescue plan," Xinhua quoted Li Hao, the county’s Communist Party
chief, as saying.

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