More mudslides in south-west China

By agency reporter
18 Aug 2010

At least 67 people are missing and 25 were injured, nine severely, after mudslides hit a remote town in southwest China's Yunnan Province early on 18 August 2010.

Details are being released by local authorities through the Xinhua News Agency.

Most of the missing people are employees of the Yujin Iron Mine and villagers in the Puladi Township, in the Drung-Nu Autonomous County of Gongshan, where the mudslides struck at around 1.30 am local time.

"I suddenly heard rumbling late last night and then rushed to a safe place with fellow villagers. I hadn't expected mudslides could come so quickly," said Yu Zhizhong, of Litoudi Village, about 10 kilometres from Puladi township seat.

The mudslides were about 300 metres across, villagers and rescuers said.

At least 10 trucks transporting iron ore and 21 houses were buried, said Zhong Zhifang, a spokesperson for local border troops involved in the search and rescue operation.

Roads, power supplies and telecommunications were cut following the mudslides, which were triggered by days of torrential rain, Zhong said.

The first group of 24 border troops arrived at the site, about 17 km from the Gongshan county seat, at 9:30 a.m., and another 103 troops are en route to the area, Zhong said.

The injured had been taken to hospital, Zhong said.

The mudslides also destroyed a bridge and blocked parts of the Nujiang River flowing through the mountains, lifting the water level in the upper reaches by up to six metres, said a statement from the Yunan Provincial Emergency Response Office Wednesday.

The local government had also dispatched rescuers to the area high in the mountains bordering Myanmar, said a spokesman with the government of Lisu Autonomous Prefecture of Nujiang, which administers Gongshan.

The county faced more rain in the next two days, according to local meteorological authorities.

On 26 June in Puladi, a mudslide killed 11 people at the construction site of a hydropower station.

Torrential rains have wreaked havoc across China this summer, incurring the worst flooding and landslides in decades.

A massive mudslide on 8 August in Zhouqu County, in northwestern Gansu Province, left 1,270 people dead and 474 missing.

[Ekk/3]

Keywords: china | disaster
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