More than 70,000 people were being evacuated as the threat of landslides had increased in earthquake-devastated Wenchuan County in Sichuan Province, China's national television station reported today.
More than 21,000 areas of Sichuan Province faced potential landslides. Of those, 2,170 places were considered very dangerous, said He Shiming, director of the Land and Resources Bureau of the Aba Region.
The landslides even jeopardize temporary shelters that were set up for victims made homeless by the 8.0 magnitude earthquake that struck on May 12, He said.
Heavy rain in the county increased the possibility of landslides, said Tao Jian, director of the Aba Region Meteorological Bureau.
About 20,000 residents and students in Wenchuan have already been evacuated. All 5,000 residents in Longxi Village are now being evacuated, said the report.
In Maoxian Town, more than 16,000 residents were evacuated over the weekend.
More than 50,000 people still in Wenchuan will all be evacuated within five days, the report added, citing Wu Zegang, party chief of Aba Region.
Wenchuan was the epicenter of the massive earthquake that killed nearly 70,000 people. Farmers had just returned to their land to harvest grain and plant next season's crop.
(Shanghai Daily June 16, 2008)