Almost 100 remain missing after deadly China landslide

Claudine Rigal
Juin 26, 2017

The search and rescue operation was underway overnight and people have been sent to observe potential secondary disasters.

Rescue crews have been ordered to evacuate the site of a deadly landslide in southwestern China over concerns of a second landslide.

The landslide from a high part of a mountain in Aba prefecture hit Xinmo Village in Maoxian County at about 6am, blocking a 2-km section of river and burying 1 600 metres of road.

At least 10 people have been confirmed dead and 93 are still missing after heavy rain brought down a side of the mountain. It also lowered the number of missing to 93, saying 15 people on an initial list of the missing were accounted for.

Experts quoted in Chinese state media said recent heavy rains, combined with structural damage to the mountain caused by the massive quake that hit the region in 2008, had caused the landslide. An estimated 18 million cubic meters of earth mass fell some 1,600 meters, engulfing half of Xinmo Village. "This is their home and livelihood and it is very hard to convince them to leave, specially when you only have a hypothesis and predictions".

Amid the grim search for bodies, there have been rays of hope.

Mao county sits next to Wenchuan.

On Saturday, Qiao Dashuai told state broadcaster CCTV that his baby had awoken him and his partner. "Rocks were in the living room". We slowly crawled out while holding our baby and escaped.

Rescuers had pulled out at least three people on Saturday, Xinhua reported.

"They told us we could go back yesterday morning but they kept delaying and delaying giving us all kinds of excuses".

The government of Mao county, where the village is located, posted on Monday drone video footage of the area showing about dozen mechanical diggers shifting through a landscape of grey rocks.

"Now we just have external wounds, and there aren't any major problems".

Wu Youheng, who lives in a neighbouring village, told Xinhua that though the region is prone to landslides, Saturday's was unprecedented in scale.

Emergency crews are searching through the rubble for victims after a landslide Saturday buried a picturesque mountain village under tons of soil and rocks, with more than 100 people remained missing.

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