Children, elderly main victims in SW China landslide

17:36, July 02, 2010      

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Forty-eight children aged under 15 and 22 adults over 60 were among the landslide victims in southwest China's Guizhou Province, rescue authorities said Friday.

The landslide struck a community where many migrant parents worked in cities, leaving their children in the care of the elderly grandparents, said a statement from the rescue headquarters based in Guangling County.

Rescuers have recovered 16 bodies from the debris of the rain-triggered landslide and are still combing the ruins for 83 people still missing.

The landslide struck 37 homes in Dazhai Village, Gangwu Township of Anshun City's Guanling County, at 2:30 p.m. Monday, burying 99 villagers.

Survivor Zhuo Guangyou said Friday the victims were mostly from the Buyi and Li ethnic groups. Zhuo's sister, his sister's daughter-in-law, three grandsons and three visiting relatives were among the victims.

Rescuers said Thursday that the probability of finding survivors was practically nil, and the 2,000-strong rescue team switched their focus from finding survivors to recovering bodies. Rescuers earlier used life detectors and sniffer dogs to search for survivors.

Some migrant workers have returned home after hearing their relatives were missing.

The landslide consisted of about 1.5 million to 2 million cubic meters of mud, which was unstable and likely to trigger additional landslides, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources officials

At least 1,000 villagers living in the area have been evacuated.



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