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Russia’s Far East Sees Explosive Ice Blasts

A Russian Emergency Ministry task force set off on an explosive mission in the country’s Far East to blow up the frozen Amur River, the ministry website reported.

As spring arrives to the Amur River, the 10th-longest river in the world, melting ice poses a flood threat to residential areas beyond its banks.

Loading the ice with dynamite and setting it off breaks up the ice sheets and allows them to flow downriver more easily. This prevents the ice jams and bottlenecks at river openings which can lead to flooding.

As it shoots ice and river water up into the sky, the sheer force of the explosives has another advantage: It looks cool.