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Thousands of Chinese Quake Victims Flee Possible Flooding

Breaking Earth News
An earthmover removes giant rocks off the only main road leading to hard-hit Beichuan county, China, 15 May 2008

Chinese officials have ordered thousands of people to evacuate a village near the epicenter of Monday's earthquake, amid conflicting reports that a dam has burst.

Witnesses say they are not sure whether the dam near Beichuan in the northern part of Sichuan province has failed, or whether a lake has overflowed its banks.

Authorities increased the official death toll Saturday to nearly 29,000. The actual number of dead is expected to surpass 50,000. Some 5 million people have lost their homes.

On Friday, a strong aftershock measuring 5.9 triggered landslides on recently-cleared roads leading to Wenchuan county, again cutting off roads and communications.

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