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Death toll climbs to 17 in NW China's rain-triggered landslide

(Xinhua)

08:20, September 20, 2011

XI'AN, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The death toll has climbed to 17 and 15 remain missing after Saturday's rain-triggered landslide that buried several workshops in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

As of 4 p.m. Monday afternoon, the rain had stopped and the rescue effort was progressing, said Zhu Zhisheng, deputy mayor with Xi'an municipal government.

The landslide occurred at around 2 p.m. Saturday when almost 100,000 cubic meters of rock and mud were unleashed down a mountain in Baqiao, a suburban district of Xi'an.

It buried a brick factory and destroyed part of a nearby ceramics plant, Zhu said.

The rain-triggered flood has affected 240,000 people in Hanbin District of Ankang City, the most severely hit, according to authorities with the city government.

As of Monday morning, over 44,7000 people have been relocated and 4,386 houses have collapsed, with another 11,280 damaged in the region. No casualties have been reported.

"All crops have been destroyed, and most villagers have been forced to move to neighboring villages," said an elderly man surnamed Liang, a resident of Baimiao Village in Hanbin District.

The flood submerged large areas of farmland and some rural and urban streets. As of 4 p.m. Monday afternoon, the water level in the flood-affected area was still raising.

On Sunday, heavy rain flooded a main railway line in the central Henan Province. Repair work continued Monday.

It is not immediately known when traffic will resume.

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