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Death toll in China landslide rises to 1,117

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 20:34

Beijing: The death toll from the worst
landslides in decades in a Tibetan-majority region in China`s
northwest on Wednesday rose sharply to 1,117 while 627 people were
still missing, as rescuers scrambled hard to sift through
thick layers of mud and rocks to find possible survivors.

The death toll, which stood at 702 yesterday, has
risen to 1,117, with 627 still missing, local authorities at
Zhouqu County in northwest China`s Gansu Province, said.

A total of 567 survivors had received clinical
treatment and further 64 seriously injured had been
hospitalised, the provincial civil affairs bureau said in a
statement.

Authorities stepped up rescue and relief work at the
site of the deadly mudslide, Vice Premier Li Keqiang said.

"China will strive to improve its disaster prevention
capabilities and ensure the safety of people`s lives and
property," Li said.

A 50-year-old man was rescued today from a flooded
hotel in northwest China where he was trapped for more than
three days after a devastating mudslide in the region.

Wang Dianlan was found on the second floor of Zhouqu`s
Fuxing Hotel, which was devastated by mudslides triggered by
heavy rains in Zhouqu County in northwest China`s Guansu
Province.

He was found after 81 hours of search.

More than 10,000 soldiers and rescuers combed through
the mountains of mud.

But the window of survival was fast closing with
authorities turning their attention to avert further flash in
the form of new floods and possible disease outbreaks after
Sunday`s incident.

Torrential rains on Saturday night had triggered an
avalanche of sludge and debris to crash down on the county
seat of Zhouqu, ripping houses off their foundations and
tearing six-story apartment buildings in half.

The mud-rock flow levelled an area which was five km
long, 300 metres wide and 5 metres deep in the county seat,
with more than two million cubic metres of mud and rocks,
severely damaging telecommunication lines, power and water
supply facilities.

Yueyuan village, which sits at the foot of craggy
mountains, was reduced to a mess of yellow slush and debris
with not a single structure left standing.

At least 30 per cent of the local population is
Tibetan.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 20:34

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