New Delhi, June 24 : China plans to turn the Tangjiashan "quake lake" into a scenic spot amid efforts to rebuild a county downstream, a local official has said.
According to The China Daily, experts are now studying how to develop the lake, which was formed by the May 12 earthquake, in a "comprehensive" and "scientific" way.
Chen Xingchun, secretary general of the Communist Party Committee of Mianyang City in the southwestern Sichuan Province, said: "It will be an important part of rebuilding Beichuan county."
The May 12 quake triggered massive landslides in Sichuan, blocking the flow of rivers and creating more than 30 unstable quake lakes that threatened millions downstream.
Tangjiashan, the largest of the lakes, had put 1.3 million at risk alone with its 250 million cubic meters of water before the drainage efforts succeeded earlier this month.
This operation had forced the evacuation of more than 250,000 residents in Mianyang.
The Sichuan Provincial Department of Water Resources declared last week that 27 of the 34 quake lakes were no longer dangerous.
The quake left 15,645 people dead, 4,311 missing and 142,000 homeless in mountainous Beichuan, the area where the Qiang ethnic group are populated. About 80 percent of the buildings collapsed in the county, about 100 km east of the epicenter.
Chen told reporters local authorities would spend three years building a new Beichuan, which would feature the distinctive Qiang culture, strong industry and tourism.