127 killed, 2,000 injured as landslides wreck Chinese regions

Landslides killed at least 127 people and left thousands missing in northwest China.

Updated: Aug 08, 2010, 19:00 PM IST

Beijing: At least 127 people are dead and
2,000 missing as flood triggered landslides wrecked havoc in a
Chinese province as water with sludge and rock submerged a
township with 1.3 million population, mainly inhabited by
Tibetans destroying everything that came in its way.

Hundreds of homes were found toppled and several
residents still trapped in the Chengguan Township and several
villages in northwest China`s Zhouqu County in the Gannan
Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province, official
media reports reaching here said, quoting ruling Communist
party officials.

"76 people were injured, while nearly 2,000 others in
the county were still missing. About 45,000 people have been
evacuated," Xinhua news agency said, quoting a statement from
the provincial civil affairs department.

The Tibetan Autonomous region has over 1.3 lakh
population mainly Tibetans has been buried with mud and rocks.

Sludge as thick as two meters was spread across some
major roads in the county. Many trapped residents were waiting
for rescuers atop buildings an official statement said adding
that a primary school and some governmental offices in the
county were damaged.

Thirty three per cent of the people of the prefecture
were Tibetans.

As soon as the news broke out Prime Minister, Wen
Jiabao rushed to the spot while President Hu Jintao ordered
all out efforts by army and civilian forces to mount a massive
rescue efforts to save people.

Wen had set up temporary headquarters for rescue work
aboard a plane heading for landslide-hit Zhouqu County to
coordinate the relief activities.

The tragedy began with Torrential rains last night
which led to the landslides said Diemujiangteng, head of the
county. The Bailong River on the banks of which the township
was built had overflowed and a large body of slow moving water
engulfed Chengguan Township.

"Many people were trapped. Now sludge has become the
biggest problem to rescue operations. It`s too thick to walk
or drive through," he said.

"It`s very hard to locate the people washed away by
floods. It`s hard to say what their chances of survival are,"
He said.

Peng Wei, head of the county`s fire department said,
"the county is in a valley and the river runs through the

"I heard the fierce storm around 11:30 p.m., later I
found that a mud-rock flow had hit our residential building.
The cars in the yard had all been damaged," Peng added.