Rescuers reopen road to SW China's mudslide-hit county

08:15, August 23, 2010      

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Cranes remove barriers to speed up flood discharge in landslide-hit Mianzhu City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, Aug. 21, 2010. Rescuers have resumed the road and waterway on Saturday to send the relief supplies to isolated local residents stranded in the mountains after heavy rain triggered mudslides in Mianzhu on Aug. 13. (Xinhua)

Rescuers Sunday reopened a key road leading to a mudslide-hit county in southwest China's Sichuan Province, which local officials called an important step in speeding up relief and rescue efforts.

Traffic resumed on National Highway 213, linking the provincial capital Chengdu to Wenchuan County, on Sunday afternoon after emergency crews worked for nine days to clear the mudslide sludge and debris on the highway.

On August 13, mudslides struck parts of Wenchuan, cutting a section of the highway after torrential downpours pelted the Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Aba.

At least 15 people have been killed and 31 remain missing, according to the latest available government figures.

Wenchuan was the epicenter of the 8.0-magnitude earthquake that jolted Sichuan and neighboring provinces in May 2008. The quake left some 87,000 people dead or missing.

Heavy precipitation is particularly dangerous in terrains once shaken by earthquakes, which then become more vulnerable to geological disasters, said Hao Liping, the head of the provincial meteorological bureau.

Source: Xinhua


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