The water level in the Tangjiashan barrier lake is expected to fall to 720 meters in the coming hours, as outflow has far outpaced inflow for three days. Drainage of the quake lake through a sluice speeded up to 6,420 cubic meters per second as of noon today.
The sluice has been widened after continuous flushing. But the flow was slowing down and settled at 3,880 cubic meters per second by 2 pm. At that time, the lake's water level had dropped to 727.94 meters above sea leve, from 743.1 meters reported in the early hours of the morning.
The water volume in Tangjiashan lake had dropped to 160 million cubic meters by 1 pm. Cracks were reported on the dam. And water conservancy experts warn it still poses a threat until the water level goes down below 720 meters.
There is also more danger on the lower reaches of the lake in Beichuan County as the volume of outflow grows. The water flow had reached 9,780 cubic meters per second at Beichuan by noon today. The county has been evacuated and is on high alert.
(CCTV June 10, 2008)