China: Landslide leaves 19 dead, at least 12 missing


Heavy rain caused a landslide in southwestern China Friday (Jul 1) that killed at least 19 and left 12 others missing, China news agency reported. A total of 30 people were buried by debris when intense rain triggered a mud-slide around 5.30 am on Friday in Pianpo Village, Dafang County, in the city of Bijie.

Seven people were pulled alive from the debris, while 11 were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the county government. More than 800 soldiers and rescuers are working with excavators to find the 12 people who remain missing. The landslide involved more than 95,00 cubic meters of mud flow.

In another incident, eight people were killed today after a wall collapsed due to heavy rain in Wuhan City, capital of central China's Hubei Province. The accident occurred when a 15-meter section of the wall of a company in Jiangxia District toppled, local officials said.

Eight people who walked near the wall, more than two meters high, were buried by the debris and found dead after being pull out by rescuers, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Rain and storms have wreaked havoc across south China since June 27, leaving at least 34 people dead or missing nationwide, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. The Yangtze River reported its first flood peak this year on Friday. Heavy rain swelled the Jushui River, a 170 km-long tributary of the Yangtze.

Floods from swollen rivers forced more than 12,000 people to relocate overnight, the Hubei provincial disaster relief headquarters said. Nationwide, 133 counties in 11 provincial-level regions — including the provinces of Hubei, Jiangsu and Zhejiang — have reported floods, landslides or mud flows. Some 1,20,000 people have been displaced and 40,000 are in need of aid. More than 3,600 homes collapsed and 19,900 hectares of crops destroyed.

Direct economic losses hit 3.14 billion yuan (about USD 471.6 million), the ministry said. The weather authority on Friday again forecast heavy rain and warned of severe floods in parts of Anhui, Hunan, Guizhou and Tibet. The National Meteorological Centre and the Ministry of Water Resources asked local authorities to monitor weather and take all necessary precautions.