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2 dead, 19 injured in SW China landslide
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A massive landslide in southwest China's Sichuan Province has killed at least two people and injured 19, local officials said Friday morning.

The landslide, which occurred at around 11:30 p.m. Thursday in Shunhe Township of Hanyuan County, also blocked a major river.

At least six people were stranded by the rising water levels upstream of the landslide and rescuers were using motor boats to reach the stranded, said a spokesman for the county government.

The county government was still ascertaining the number of casualties, said the spokesman. It was not known if anyone was missing.

Minor landslides were still occurring at the site Friday morning.

The debris formed a 250-meter-long blockage on the Dadu River. By 3:30 a.m. Friday, the water had overrun the obstruction, which was in danger of collapsing and causing flooding downstream.

The runoff at the Pubugou power station dam downstream of the landslide was 1,600 cubic meters per second at 10 a.m. Friday, down from 2,760 cubic meters per second Thursday before the landslide.

The provincial government has ordered an evacuation of people living at the lower reaches of the river to avoid further casualties.

(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2009)

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