Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

New rain piles on misery for China

Overnight thunderstorms have brought new misery to a remote area of north-western China (AP)

Overnight thunderstorms has brought new misery to a remote area of north-western China as the death toll from weekend flooding and massive landslides rose to 1,117.

The rains triggered new mudslides, leaving five more missing, and another swollen river threatened to overflow.

The National Weather Centre forecast heavy rains in the coming days - up to 3.5in is expected in the already saturated region on Friday - and said the threat of additional landslides along the Bailong River was "relatively large".

An overnight deluge triggered more mudslides that swept away six houses in Xizangba village, blocked a river near Libazi village, and obstructed a key road used to ferry relief goods, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Another mudslide in nearby Tianshui city buried seven people, though two were quickly rescued, Xinhua said. In another part of Gansu, 250,000 residents of Chengxian county faced the threat of flooding as waters rose in the Donghe River, local officials said.

Tents set up as emergency shelters were flooded, and traumatised victims said the storms were a frightening reminder of the deluge that brought on Sunday's disaster in which three villages in Gansu's Zhouqu district were swallowed in waves of mud and rubble-strewn water. Hundreds of homes were completely buried.

Xinhua reported that 630 people were missing, with hopes for their rescue fading fast. However, two survivors were found on Wednesday, including a 50-year-old man pulled from knee-deep mud on the second floor of a hotel, Xinhua said. No details were given on the second survivor.

Local residents said they could still hear cries for help coming from collapsed buildings overnight and soldiers were sent to search the area.

The Gansu provincial government announced subsidies for families whose homes were destroyed and promised to help rebuild all houses by next June.

Flooding in China has killed more than 2,000 people this year and caused tens of billions of pounds in damage across 28 provinces and regions.

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