Landslides in China Kill 11, 27 Missing

K J M Varma/ Beijing

Eleven people were killed and 27 others missing after rainstorms and landslides hit China's southwest Chongqing Municipality, affecting nearly nine lakh people.

About 898,000 people in 16 counties in the region have been affected and 39,000 have been evacuated from flooded areas, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said in a report.

Direct economic losses total around 710 million yuan (USD 115 million), the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

More than 500 professional rescuers, including fire fighters and armed police, have evacuated more than 7,000 residents in nine rain-drenched townships in Yunyang County, said the local rescue headquarters.

The missing include 11 coal miners who were buried by a landslide yesterday.

Torrential rain started to pound Yunyang, Wuxi, Fengjie and Wushan in northeastern Chongqing on Sunday, cutting off traffic, power and communication throughout much of the counties.

Rescuers are working to resume traffic on three major roads and a highway to the county seat of Wuxi.

More than 250,000 residents in 32 townships in Wuxi have been affected by the rainstorm.

Many streets in the county seat have been inundated by flood water as deep as 50 cm, the county's water authorities said.

The National Meteorological Centre forecast heavy rain in Chongqing and neighbouring Sichuan Province today.

The National Disaster Reduction Commission and the Ministry of Civil Affairs issued a grade IV emergency response today and dispatched a work group to the disaster zone to help relief efforts.

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