More rains add to misery of China landslide survivors
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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).


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

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