More rains add to misery of China landslide survivors

Last Updated: Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 17:28

Beijing: An overnight downpour has
brought fresh misery to thousands of survivors in the north
Chinese town of Zhouqu where 1,117 people have been killed and
627 are still missing after a massive landslide hit the remote
region.

Some 250,000 residents of Chengxian County are facing
the threat of floods after overnight downpours raised the
water level of the Donghe River, according to the provincial
flood control and drought relief headquarters.
Fresh rains triggered a mudslide which blocked the
Lianghekou-Zhouqu Road, the shortest route for bringing goods
from the provincial capital of Gansu to Zhouqu, a spokesman
with the disaster relief headquarters said.

Water flowed into some of the temporary shelters in
low-lying areas last night after downpours hit the county.

More heavy rains are forecast in the coming days, with
up to 9 cm of rain expected in the region tomorrow. China`s
national weather centre said the threat of additional
landslides along the Bailong River is "relatively large",
Xinhua news agency reported.

Heavy rains may cause the artificial lake on the
Bailong River that formed after it was blocked by debris to
overflow and flood the already-devastated areas, putting both
survivors and rescuers at risk.

In Xizangba Village, six houses were swept away,
leaving three people missing, a spokesman with the disaster
relief headquarters said.
Meanwhile, another mudslide buried seven people in
Tianshui City. Two of the buried were quickly rescued.

At least 45,000 people have evacuated their homes, and
the Ministry of Civil Affairs reported the delivery of 30,000
tents to the area, with thousands more on the way. Zhouqu has
a population of 134,000, but it wasn`t clear how many needed
emergency shelter.

At least 1,117 people have already been confirmed dead
in Gansun province, with the death toll expected to rise.

Chinese authorities have pledged to complete the
reconstruction of all homes destroyed by a devastating
mudslide on Sunday by June next year.

China has suffered its worst flooding in at least a
decade this summer.

Prior to the deadly mudslide in Zhouqu, floods this
year had left 1,072 people dead and 619 missing. Direct
economic losses are estimated at 210 billion yuan (USD 30.94
billion).

PTI



First Published: Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 17:28

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