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'Quake Lake' in China Hit by Another Aftershock


Another strong aftershock has struck a swollen lake in China that was formed by last month's massive earthquake and is threatening to flood thousands of homes downstream.

U.S. seismologists say the 5.0 magnitude aftershock rattled an area of quake-devastated Sichuan province where the lake is located. An aftershock of the same magnitude struck the region Sunday.

Local officials say the aftershocks have not had any impact on the unstable body of water, but the official Xinhua news agency says the situation remains "highly dangerous."

On Sunday, Chinese troops used anti-tank weapons to blast away rocks and speed up the drainage of water from the so-called "quake lake," but waters continue to rise.

About 250,000 people have been evacuated from homes downstream, but more may have to be moved if the naturally-formed dam bursts.

More than 1.3 million people live downstream from the lake, created when a quake-caused landslide formed a dam in the Tongkou river.

The 7.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Sichuan on May 12 killed more than 69,000 people and left millions homeless.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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