Constructors set off kiloton-strong blast

An extra-heavy detonation has turned a mountain in the south of Kyrgyzstan into an enormous heap of stones.

The explosion is part of the construction plan for the new Kambarata-2 hydro power plant in the area.

The blast was equivalent to 2.5 kilotons of TNT, an effect comparable to a disastrous earthquake. The whole area was cordoned off and thousands of people temporarily relocated.

Kyrgyzstan’s leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was watching the operation, said that was a historic event for the country.

The dam, which has been in construction since the 1980s, is expected to generate its first megawatts in 2010.