Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday inspected the 'quake lake' in Tangjiashan as it neared to overflowing. He was visiting the disaster zone for the third time since the earthquake struck on May 12. It will be a whirlwind visit for Mr Wen as he is scheduled to meet Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Beijing today. 'Now is a critical moment for the Tangjiashan 'quake lake' and the most important thing is to ensure there are no casualties,' he said. Authorities evacuated 10,000 more people from the downstream area yesterday, bringing the total to more than 250,000. Officials also enforced a traffic ban and were searching for residents who might have missed the evacuation or refused to move. Mr Wen arrived in Mianyang city yesterday and flew to the lake by helicopter. State television showed him, wearing a white shirt and sports shoes, inspecting the area. Xinhua reported late yesterday that the lake was closer to reaching the level which would allow engineers to drain some of the water. Workers dug a 500-metre drainage channel to divert water from the lake. 'The situation with the progress of the project shows that our appointed plan to discharge water, and the necessary evacuation of personnel, was accurate,' Mr Wen said. Officials had hinted the draining would begin yesterday. But landslides and rainfall had increased the risk of flooding from the lake, which could mean a delay. The rain, which started yesterday, is expected throughout today. Mr Wen also met members of a Russian rescue team and hosted a meeting to discuss the 'quake lake' plan.