Over 24,600 evac­u­ated af­ter land­slide

Up­per reaches of Yangtze blocked in bor­der area of Ti­bet, Sichuan

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By DAQIONG in Lhasa and HOU LIQIANG in Bei­jing Con­tact the writ­ers at houliqiang@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

More than 24,600 peo­ple have been evac­u­ated af­ter a land­slide blocked the Jin­sha River — the up­per reaches of the Yangtze — in the bor­der area of Sichuan prov­ince and the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion, au­thor­i­ties said.

As of 6 pm Fri­day, more than 13,600 peo­ple in af­fected ar­eas in Ti­bet had been evac­u­ated. The ris­ing wa­ter also caused the col­lapse of some houses in the re­gion. About 11,000 peo­ple from neigh­bor­ing Sichuan were also evac­u­ated, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Emer­gency Man­age­ment.

The land­slide oc­curred around 7 am Thurs­day in Qamdo city, though no ca­su­al­ties have been re­ported. As of 3 pm Thurs­day, about 100 mil­lion cu­bic me­ters of wa­ter have ac­cu­mu­lated in the bar­rier lake, ac­cord­ing to the Sichuan flood con­trol author­ity.

At 11 am Thurs­day, the wa­ter flow in the mon­i­tor­ing sta­tion 90 kilo­me­ters up­stream from the bar­rier lake was 1,320 cu­bic me­ters per sec­ond. Wa­ter flow in the sta­tion 70 kilo­me­ters down­stream from the lake, how­ever, dropped from 1,900 cu­bic m/s at 8 pm on Wed­nes­day to only 200 cu­bic m/s, said the author­ity.

Changjiang Wa­ter Re­sources Com­mis­sion said it has asked mon­i­tor­ing sta­tions to re­port data ev­ery 10 min­utes.

The scale of the land­slide is vast and sev­eral bridges, fields and vil­lages were af­fected. Bolo town­ship, where the land­slide oc­curred, has been iso­lated af­ter a bridge to the town­ship was in­un­dated, Qamdo au­thor­i­ties said.

“The lo­cal govern­ment is con­tin­u­ing the trans­porta­tion of daily ne­ces­si­ties, in­clud­ing beds and food, to the af­fected area and cur­rently there have been enough to meet the needs of the evac­uees,” said Tanpa Yarphel, a se­nior of­fi­cial with the Jomda county govern­ment, where Bolo town­ship is lo­cated.

While all res­i­dents in the af­fected area have been evac­u­ated, searches are on­go­ing along the river to en­sure no one has been left be­hind.

Sod­nam Wangchug, Party chief of Bolo town­ship, said they have con­structed four shel­ters to ac­com­mo­date evac­uees and four doc­tors have been dis­patched to the shel­ters.

Tser­ing Lhamo, a lo­cal res­i­dent, said they are stay­ing in a tent and have enough to eat. “We are at ease now,” he said.

The in­ci­dent has trig­gered an emer­gency re­sponse from the Min­istry of Emer­gency Man­age­ment.

The top emer­gency man­age­ment author­ity held an emer­gency meet­ing with govern­ment bod­ies re­lated to the dis­as­ter re­lief work, in­clud­ing the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources, Min­istry of Wa­ter Re­sources and China Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ad­min­is­tra­tion, on Thurs­day night. A joint emer­gency re­sponse mech­a­nism headed by Huang Ming, Party chief of the Min­istry of Emer­gency Man­age­ment, was es­tab­lished in the meet­ing.

Un­der the mech­a­nism, the dif­fer­ent govern­ment bod­ies will meet ev­ery day to co­or­di­nate joint ac­tions in the dis­as­ter re­lief work to root out risks as soon as pos­si­ble.

Ye Jianchun, vice-min­is­ter of emer­gency man­age­ment, has ar­rived at the site to guide dis­as­ter re­lief work, lead­ing a joint team from var­i­ous govern­ment bod­ies, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Emer­gency Man­age­ment.

The State Flood Con­trol and Drought Re­lief Head­quar­ters said it has asked lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to evac­u­ate res­i­dents from ar­eas that may be af­fected and or­dered reser­voirs down­stream to dis­charge wa­ter to give space for pos­si­ble flood­ing.

YANG JUAN / CHINA NEWS SER­VICE

The Jin­sha River is blocked by a land­slide, giv­ing rise to a bar­rier lake in Qamdo, the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion, on Thurs­day.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Pri­mary school stu­dents are evac­u­ated in Bolo town­ship on Thurs­day.

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