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Six dead, 12 missing in landslides, floods

By HU YONGQI and GUO ANFEI  (China Daily)

08:19, July 29, 2013

Soldiers with the 21st Group Army in the Lanzhou Military Area Command relocated about 600 residents affected by flooding in Niniangba township in Tianshui, Gansu province, on Saturday. CAO BAIMING / FOR CHINA DAILY

Twelve people were missing and another dozen injured after a landslide hit areas in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces on Sunday.

At around 5 pm on Saturday, parts of a mountain containing an estimated 120,000 cubic meters of mud, rocks and debris plummeted into the Jinsha River in Yongshan county, northeast Yunnan province, the information office of Yongshan county said on Sunday. The river is one of major headwater streams of the Yangtze River and runs between Sichuan and Yunnan provinces.

Also on Sunday morning, another landslide at a construction site in Dalian left six people dead.

The victims were in a temporary shed of a construction site when the rain-triggered landslide occurred at around 4:20 a.m. at the community in Zhongshan District in Dalian City, rescuers said.

The fallen mountainside in Yongshan county was estimated to be 200 meters wide and 250 meters deep. Twelve people are missing, including four Yongshan residents, said Zhou Zhiwen, deputy director of the county's publicity department.

"Three locals working to build a dock in Sichuan on the other side of the river were taken away by the flood. And three deputy county heads are leading more than 100 firefighters and police officers in the rescue operation in the village," Zhou said.

The landslide also caused damage in Kahaluo township in neighboring Leibo county, Sichuan province, according to local publicity department.

Eight of the 12 people missing are from Leibo. Two vehicles, six motorcycles and three boats were damaged by the landslide, with three cattle swept away by the flood, according to the Yongshan information office.

Meanwhile, flooding in Qingshui county, Gansu province, which was ravaged by a magnitude-6.6 earthquake on July 22, has blocked highways, making it difficult to access the area.

"The floods and earthquake have caused damage in all 260 villages in the county," Zhang Xiuli, director of the publicity department of Qingshui, was quoted by the China News Service as saying. Around 100,000 people have been affected by power and telecommunication outages.

As of 7 pm on Sunday, the strong rainfall since July 24 had caused floods in Tianshui, Longnan and Qingyang, leaving 21 people dead and 5 missing, according to the Gansu Provincial Civil Affairs Department.

The National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Civil Affairs have sent 10 million yuan ($1.61 million) in emergency funds and 2,000 tents to people affected by the disasters.

There have been many geological disasters in China this summer due to heavy downpours. Experts said local residents and governments should pay more attention to weather forecasts and prepare for potential floods and landslides by setting up warning systems.

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