|Officials move 9,000 from Sichuan town, fearing new disasters|
QINGCHUAN, Sichuan, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 9,000 people in a quake zone were evacuated on Tuesday for fear that huge cracks on a mountain could lead to further disasters.
Many crevices, measuring up to 1,500 meters long, 250 m high and 50 centimeters wide, have been spotted on the Shiziliang Mountain in the Qingchuan County seat, Guangyuan City, since Sunday, threatening about 50,000 people and quake-relief soldiers.
Part of the mountain, distorted in the 8.0-magnitude earthquake and many aftershocks over the past week, has sunk about 1 meter and caused many road works to cave in.
A house at the foot of the mountain was damaged by a falling boulder.
Any new aftershock or heavy rainfall in the area could trigger serious landslides and cause casualties, according to the quake relief headquarters at the site.
The local government on Tuesday launched an emergency evacuation of 9,000 residents near the mountain. The area has been cordoned off and is under round-the-clock monitoring.