October 12, 2018 – More than 20,000 people have been evacuated in China from villages on the banks of the Yangtze River after a massive landslide left part of its stream completely blocked, creating a barrier lake.
Two villages have been submerged in floodwaters brought by the barrier lake which is rising at a rate of about 60cm (two feet) an hour at the time of writing, according to Chinese media.
The landslide occurred yesterday morning along Jinsha River, the upper stretches of the Yangtze known for its rapid currents. No casualties have been reported.
The landslide took place in Jomda County, south-west China’s Tibet Autonomous Region on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau.
Residents from 15 counties who live within 300 kilometers (186 miles) downstream from the point of the blockage have been removed to shelters, according to The Paper and China National Radio.
A team consisting of 11 vehicles and 60 firefighters were on the ground by this afternoon, reported CGTN.
It is said more soldiers have been sent to the site by crossing the treacherous terrain on foot to move the locals to safety as well as hand out daily necessities.
As of yesterday afternoon, the barrier lake measured 5,600 meters long, 200 meters wide and 70 meters deep, said Xinhua News Agency.
It contained about 100 million cubic meters of water and yesterday evening the water overflowed the debris from the landslide, bring immediate danger to an area of about 20 square kilometers (7.7 square miles).