11 dead, 42 missing in SW China landslide

by AFP/ pic by AFP

BEIJING, CHINA • Eleven people have died and 42 are missing after heavy rains triggered a landslide in China’s southwestern Guizhou province, the government said Wednesday.

Rescuers have freed 11 survivors after a mudslide buried 21 houses in a village in Shuicheng county Tuesday night, the Ministry of Emergency Management said in a statement on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

Video of the landslide aired by state broadcaster CGTN showed the side of a collapsed hill covered in thick mud and excavators digging through the debris.

Rescue workers in helmets with torches were seen struggling through the thick mud as ambulances waited nearby.

About 560 rescuers were still combing through the rubble searching for survivors, the statement said.

Chinese president Xi Jinping has called for a “careful investigation” into flood and disaster management to reduce further damage, the ministry said.

Landslides are a frequent danger in rural and mountainous parts of China, particularly after heavy rain, and the country has suffered heavy flooding in 2019 so far.

A separate landslip at a construction site in a village in Hezhang County in Guizhou on Tuesday killed one person and six others are missing, the county government said.

About 2.2 million people in Guizhou have been affected by floods and heavy winds in the first half of the year, and natural disasters have shaved off 3.1 billion yuan ($450 million) off the local economy this year, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.