Friday 21 October 2016

Eight Killed, 17 Missing in Landslide in Southwest China

K J M Varma/Beijing

At least eight people were killed and 17 others remained missing after a landslide struck a village in southwest China, burying several houses.

A total of 77 houses collapsed after the landslide hit Yingping Village near Fuquan city in Guizhou Province last night.

Half of a 600-meter-high knoll broke free and wiped out a majority of the village at the foot of a hill, killing eight people, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Seventeen people are still missing in the disaster.

A small reservoir was also breached during the landslide and the flooding caused further damage to the village, affecting over 150 villagers, State television network CCTV said.

Residents said the village was occupied mainly by children and elderly when the landslide struck as many of the villagers had moved to the city for work.

"The electricity suddenly went out, so we felt our way out of the house in darkness. The house was buried the moment I rushed out, and Tan, who was just behind me, didn't make it," Zeng Shuping, a local villager, said. 

Rescue operation was on even as it was hindered by torrential rain.

Signs of life have been detected under the debris, pushing rescuers to avoid large machinery in case they injure survivors, said Wang Xuejun, a paramilitary police officer overseeing rescue effort.

Guizhou is one of the poorest provinces in China, and renowned for its hilly topography and wet weather.

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