Death toll in Yunnan landslide rises to 31

By LI YINGQING and JIANG CHENGLONG (Chinadaily.com.cn) 08:12, January 24, 2024

Rescuers search for survivors on Tuesday after a landslide struck a mountainous village in Zhaotong, Yunnan Province, on Monday. [Photo by JIANG WENYAO / XINHUA]

A landslide that occurred on Monday in southwest China's Yunnan Province has resulted in 31 deaths as of Tuesday evening, as all-out rescue efforts and post-disaster work are still ongoing, local authorities said on Tuesday.

At around 6 am on Monday, a landslide struck Liangshui village, Zhenxiong county, burying 18 houses.

By Tuesday evening, rescue teams had recovered 31 bodies out of the rubble, none of whom, however, showed signs of life, according to a news release from the on-site disaster-response task force. Meanwhile, more than 10 people are still missing.

In addition, 918 people from 223 families have been urgently relocated for their safety, including 90 to a temporary shelter set up in a local primary school, where daily necessities, including food and accommodation, are being provided for the affected residents, the task force said.

Meanwhile, 778 people have sought refuge with relatives and friends, while two people are receiving treatment in a local hospital.

As of Tuesday evening, over 1,000 personnel have been mobilized by governments at various levels for rescue operations, supported by 81 rescue dogs.

In addition, more than 150 items of heavy machinery, including excavators, loaders and large transport vehicles, have been deployed in the rescue effort.

Meanwhile, over 100 medical professionals and 16 ambulances are involved in the rescue work, with 37,000 milliliters of blood allocated for emergency treatment.

To ensure the supply of daily necessities and various relief materials, local authorities have urgently allocated hundreds of tents and quilts, as well as more than 1,000 cotton coats.

Liangshui village is located in a high-altitude mountainous area with complex terrain. Light snowfall in the area has led to the accumulation of snow and ice on rooftops, tents and equipment, complicating the rescue efforts, according to a report by China Media Group.

Due to uncertainty about a nearby mountain, the task force has arranged for specialists to monitor the situation and set up radar stations for real-time landslide monitoring.

Currently, access to the disaster area is clear, and power and communication lines are functioning normally, said the task force, noting that efforts to rescue the missing are still ongoing.

On Tuesday, Yunnan's meteorological authority forecast that from Wednesday to Friday, Zhen-xiong county would continue to experience cold weather with rain and snow, with temperatures below zero.

Min Ying, chief forecaster at the Yunnan meteorological observatory, was quoted as saying that measures should be taken to ensure the warmth and safety of those involved in disaster relief and evacuation.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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