Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Hope fades for landslide victims

In Yunnan province, floodwaters receded enough for some people to inspect their homes

A landslide caused by heavy rains has trapped at least 107 people in south-west China - and there is little hope for their survival, a local official said.

Rescue work is under way and the number of casualties was not immediately known, said an official in Guizhou province.

Large areas of southern China have been hit by flooding in the last week, with at least 239 killed and another 109 missing. More than three million people have fled their homes over the past two weeks, according to the ministry of civil affairs.

On Sunday, floodwaters began receding in the hard-hit south and workers finished repairing a dyke breach that forced the evacuation of 100,000 people.

But torrential rains have continued in the south west, where the landslide occurred in the village of Dazhai, said the provincial official who works in the flood prevention headquarters.

"The landslide was triggered by heavy rains in the past few days, especially last night's rain. There is little chance that the people who are trapped will be able to survive," he said.

The official Xinhua News Agency had previously cited the municipal government as saying the number of trapped was 150 but later quoted a local spokesman as saying the number had been revised to 107.

In Malong county, Yunnan province, floodwaters had receded enough that some people returned to inspect their homes over the weekend, China Central Television said.

Residents returned to find their mud-brick houses covered in sludge in areas that had been under 6ft of water after a reservoir overflowed.

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