5,000 stranded as landslides disrupt train service in SW China

15:19, June 17, 2011      

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About 5,000 passengers on four trains were stranded Thursday night as rain-triggered landslides buried parts of a railway line in southwest China, local railway authorities said Friday.

Over 2,000 people with 10 excavators have rushed to clear the Chengdu-Kunming railway, which links the provincial capitals of Sichuan and Yunnan, the Chengdu Railway Bureau said in a statement.

The bureau has sent food and water to the trapped passengers, and buses to evacuate them, it said.

The disruption has forced many trains to return to their point of origin and forced their rescheduling.

Heavy rains have triggered flooding and landslides in a wide swathe of south China along the Yangtze River, the country's largest, since June, leaving more than 100 people dead.

In Zhejiang, the provincial meteorological center has forecasted further downpours for the weekend.

Torrential rains this week have forced the relocation of 120,000 residents, inundated dozens of villages and caused the largest flood crest in 56 years in a major local river in the coastal province.

Source: Xinhua
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