8,000 safely evacuated in Sichuan after landslide

16:00, August 16, 2010      

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On Aug.14, more than 100 trapped people were rescued in Yingxiu Township located in the southern part of Wenchuan County in China’s Sichuan Province and were evacuated to shelters.(Photo by Wu Chuanming/People's Daily Online)

More than 8,000 people were safely evacuated to shelters and 10 missing people were found and rescued after rain-triggered floods and landslides ravaged Wenchuan County in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

On Aug.13, heavy rains hit Yingxiu Township, southern parts of Wenchuan County, Sichuan province, which is still under reconstruction from damage caused by the disastrous 7.9-magnitude earthquake on May 12, 2008.

Two days of heavy rain triggered more than 16 landslides in Wenchuan County and caused 400,000 cubic meters of mudslides to flood into the Minjiang River, a branch of the Yangtze River, form several barrier lakes.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council attached close attention on the disaster situation in Sichuan.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made significant instructions on rescue works.

The China National Committee for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Civil Affairs on Saturday dispatched a working team headed by Vice Minister Luo Pingfei to help guide relief work in the flood-affected zone.

The governor of Sichuan province Jiang Jufeng arrived in Yingxiu Township at 8 a.m. on Aug.14 to direct rescue work.

It is reported that although Yingxiu Township is home to more than 8,000 construction workers and their family members currently, it has no formal admission residents.

Wenchuan County launched the early warning mechanism and promptly organized evacuation of construction workers in low riparian areas since the heavy rain began pouring on Aug.15.

However, some 190 workers and local grass-roots cadres who were in charge of the evacuation were trapped by floods caused by barrier lakes and sudden river diversion.

On Aug.14, more than 100 trapped people were rescued and relocated to neighboring Dujiangyan City in safety by People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers.

Currently, the rescue work was complete and the removal work for barrage debris in the water was ongoing.

It is reported that 10 of the previously reported missing people were found, according to local authorities. A county government spokesman said that the 10 missing residents of a remote community were cut off from outside contact on Friday.

Rescuers made contact with them early Sunday and managed to partially unblock a road and reach them, the spokesman said.

Rescuers and local residents are still searching for 31 other people reported missing, he said.

No deaths have been reported in the county up to now.

By Li Mu, People's Daily Online
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