120 missing in China landslide



A landslide in southwestern China's Sichuan province on Saturday damaged dozens of houses, with at least 120 people reported missing, officials said.

Officials from Maoxian County said the incident occurred after a landslide hit Xinmo village around 6 a.m. on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Besides at least 62 houses destroyed, a two-kilometre stretch of a river was blocked and 1.6 km of a road buried under piles of rocks, with local authorities blaming the landslide on heavy rain in the region.

While Xinhua had initially reported 141 people missing, it later reduced the number to over 120. It added that three persons belonging to the same family were pulled out five hours after being buried by the landslide without serious injuries, though another member remains trapped under the debris.

Sichuan local TV reported two survivors had been evacuated and one body recovered.

Around 1,000 rescue personnel rushed to the area with bulldozers and life-detecting tools, according to Sichuan authorities spokesperson, Tang Limin.

Footage on state-run television network CCTV showed several soldiers lifting heavy rocks and several bulldozers working in the area where the village was presumably buried.

Provincial authorities have issued the highest level of disaster relief response, while Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered an all-out rescue effort and aid for all those affected.

Torrential rain during this time of the year is frequent in China and floods, landslides and other catastrophes caused by meteorological phenomena are quite common.

According to Xinhua, floods as a result of the rain during the past two days in the central provinces of Hunan and Hubei have affected about 466,500 people, and claimed at least two lives.

Around 50 houses have collapsed leading to the evacuation of more than 9,000 people. - IANS