WUHAN, July 21 (Xinhua) -- A landslide has blocked a river in central China's Hubei Province, forming a barrier lake that threatens nearby villages and the downstream city of Enshi, local authorities said Tuesday.
The barrier lake, caused by a massive landslide of 10 million cubic meters, was formed on the Qingjiang River, a tributary of Yangtze River, in the Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, at around 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, said the flood control and drought relief headquarters of Enshi City.
At 10:15 a.m., water from the upper reach broke through the top of the lake, discharging into the lower reach at a speed of 200 cubic meters per second, so that the risk of a dam breaking has eased.
As of 6 a.m. the same day, a massive body of 1.5 million cubic meters of earth has slid into the river, said Fu Qiang, an engineer with Hubei Geological Bureau at a press conference late Tuesday night.
The landslide body is constantly changing, he said.
A total of 8,397 residents of 1,963 households from the affected area have been evacuated as of 3 p.m. Tuesday, said the mayor, Su Yong.