About 200 people threatened by an ongoing massive landslide in central China's Hubei Province have been evacuated, local authorities said Sunday night.
The 200 people, including teachers and residents, had been evacuated to Gaoyang Town Middle School for shelter, said Du Honghui, head of the Xingshan County's land and resources bureau.
Continuous rain triggered a landslide of 60,000 cubic meters of landslide. 2,000 cu m of it had caused rock-mud flow which inundated a nearby primary school and a village with 37 homes.
As of 10 p.m. Sunday, the ground floor classrooms of a teaching building of the Gaoyang Town Center Primary School had been covered with one-meter-deep mud with windows, pupils' desks and chairs all damaged. The playground was inundated with 30 to 50 centimeters of mud.
Rescue efforts were underway and the landslide situation was being closely monitored, according to Du. No casualties have been reported as the primary school had no classes over the weekend. Authorities had decided to suspend the primary school classes for three days since Monday.
Up to 106 millimeters of rain has fallen so far. Weather forecasters say the rain would continue in coming days, which would continue to swell exuding underground water at the landslide site.
The disaster relief staff expected that the landslide area would worsen due to the bad weather.
Rainstorms of up to 141 centimeters in the past three days had killed two persons in Hubei. A motorcycle driver was swept away when passing a bridge. The other was killed by lightning strike.
Nearly 830,000 people in 16 counties or cities in Hubei have been affected by the storms, which caused flash floods in some areas, according to provincial government.
(Xinhua News Agency April 21, 2008)