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46 bodies found in Yunnan mudslideretrieved (2)

By Li Yao in Beijing (China Daily)

13:31, January 13, 2013

Rescue workers dig through muddy debris after a landslide hit Gaopo village in Zhenxiong county, Yunnan province. The death toll rose to 46 as the bodies of the last two missing were found Saturday morning. (Photo/Xinhua)

The disaster caused a projected economic loss of 45.5 million yuan, including damage to houses, crops and livestock, transportation, telecommunications and power systems.

The county has sent 150 tents, 300 quilts, 300 warm garments, 5 tons of rice and other basic necessities such as water and instant noodles to the affected zone.

The incident was declared a natural disaster caused by continuous rain and snow during the past weeks, according to an investigation report released by geological experts in Yunnan.

The decimated village is located in high, steep mountains with loose mud-rock foundations, which tend to shift after being saturated with rain and snow, said the report.

Jiang Xingwu, from the Yunnan provincial land and resources department, said the mudslide also related to an earthquake that struck a nearby county, Yiliang, in September. The quake caused 81 deaths at the time; a month later, a landslide buried a primary school in Yiliang county, killing 18 students and one other person.

Top State leaders, including Party chief Xi Jinping, have ordered all-out efforts to recover the bodies, resettle affected residents and prevent secondary disasters.

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