China races against time for landslide disaster relief in Yunnan

(Xinhua) 09:05, January 23, 2024

KUNMING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- After a landslide that struck a mountainous village in southwest China's Yunnan Province on Monday, China has been racing against time for rescue and disaster relief work.

The landslide occurred in Liangshui Village in the city of Zhaotong at about 6 a.m. on Monday, with 47 people reported missing. As of 10 p.m. Monday, 11 people were found dead, according to the local disaster relief headquarters.

Preliminary investigation by an expert group determined that the disaster resulted from a collapse in the steep cliff area atop the slope, said Wu Junyao, director of the natural resources and planning bureau of Zhaotong.

The collapsed mass measured approximately 100 meters in width, 60 meters in height, with an average thickness of around 6 meters, he said.

More than 1,000 rescue workers equipped with 45 rescue dogs and 120 vehicles, including excavators, loaders and transport vehicles, are carrying out search and rescue work at the site.

Situated in a cold mountainous region where snow persists for days, the rescue site remains covered in thick snow. Through a comparative analysis of images before and after the disaster, the fire rescue force has efficiently outlined the primary search area, determining the number and locations of buried houses.

"According to the arrangements of shifts by the headquarters, the search and rescue efforts persist through the night," said firefighter Li Shenglong.

Li Yongchao, a 44-year-old villager from Liangshui Village, was awakened by a loud noise early Monday morning and soon he knew the accident happened.

Upon discovering that his relative had lost contact, he hurried to the vicinity of the disaster site. "Around 6:50 a.m., more than 10 firefighters arrived at the rescue scene. Despite the thick snow, they immediately initiated the rescue efforts."

Following the disaster, local authorities are also providing assistance to those affected, ensuring proper support and settlement measures are in place.

Now, a total of 213 residents have been evacuated to safer locations. More than 200 tents, 400 quilts, 600 cotton coats and 14 sets of emergency lighting equipment have also been provided.

Numerous residents from nearby villages also rushed to the scene to provide support. Hong Jie, a 38-year-old resident of Linkou Village, engaged in delivering relief supplies.

"Our village is nearby. By 7 a.m., over 20 volunteers had arrived. Our main focus is on distributing supplies, cooking, and delivering food to those in need," Hong said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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