China's Ministry of Water Resources on Friday dispatched nine emergency repair teams to Sichuan to assess the conditions of reservoirs after Monday's massive earthquake.
The teams, with more than 100 experts, would be sent to six hard-hit regions, including Mianyang, Deyang and Aba, to check the situation of dikes, reservoirs and hydropower plants.
They would assess the damage and draw up plans to prevent secondary disasters or evacuations, if necessary, the ministry said.
The ministry had set up a command center for disaster rescue and relief operations and sent 71 water resource experts to seven quake-stricken provincial regions amid concerns that the weakened dams might collapse.
Minister Chen Lei warned Thursday that Sichuan, where the epicenter is located, has a large number of reservoirs, many of which have sustained significant but still unknown damage.
According to the ministry, the Zipingpu dam, near the quake epicenter in Wenchuan County, is structurally stable and safe despite some minor damages.
Other key water projects in Sichuan, including the more than 2,000-year-old Dujiangyan irrigation system, the south-to-north water diversion project and the Three Gorges Dam are all reported safe.
(Xinhua News Agency May 17, 2008)