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127 killed in Gansu landslide

127 killed in Gansu landslide
0 CommentsPrint E-mail CNTV, August 9, 2010
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Heavy downpours have triggered landslides and mud-rock flows in northwest China's Gansu Province. At least 127 people have been confirmed dead in Zhouqu County, located in the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

Rescuers had saved more than 12 hundred survivors as of 9:30 p.m. Sunday evening. And they continue to search for nearly 13 hundred others still missing. Zhou Xiran tells us more.

About 2,500 military personnel and two-thousand armed police have arrived in Zhouqu County. They're directing their efforts to post-landslide rescue and relief operations.

Six helicopters have also landed in the area.

Firefighters are searching for survivors with all available equipment, including life detectors and rubber rafts.

A rescuer said, "We arrived here at six o'clock Sunday morning. We are trying hard to find survivors under the debris. We have to dig using shovels because large machinery can't be delivered as the ground is too soft. We have to wait for the river level to fall so they can rebuild the roads."

Local residents are also helping with the rescue work.

A local resident of Zhouqu County, said, "It's difficult for us to reach trapped people. We've carried out 20 separate evacuations, but can only transfer three or four people each time."

Injured people have been sent to local hospitals. Many are seriously hurt, and will be transferred to other medical facilities.

Around 45 thousand people have also been evacuated, and rescuers are erecting temporary tents for them.

Roads on the outskirts of Zhouqu County have reopened after being blocked by mud-flows. But there is still a risk of more landslides and a danger of falling rocks hitting vehicles. Construction workers are laboring around the clock to patch up highways.

Floodwaters carrying mud and rocks submerged half the county seat, Chengguan Township in the small hours on Sunday.

Rescue crews are now struggling to repair and clean up streets in the town, with their operations hindered by the flood waters running as deep as four meters.

Meteorologists say there will be heavy rainfall in the region over the coming few days, which could also hamper relief efforts.


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