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Two killed, 21 missing in southwest China landslide
Publication Date : 11-07-2013
Two people were killed and 21 others remain missing after a landslide in Dujiangyan, Sichuan province, southwest China on Wednesday.
The landslide, triggered by incessant rain since 8 pm on Monday, occurred in Sanxi, a village in Zhongxing, at about 10:30am.
Ma Kun, fire brigade chief under Chengdu public security bureau, said the landslide has left more than 300 people stranded.
"As the road to the village has been destroyed, rescuers have to get there on foot. Rescue operations are proving to be very difficult," he said.
Mud and rocks brought down by the heavy rainfall cover an area of 2 sq km, blocking the road.
Dong Guodong, a Dujiangyan resident who witnessed the landslide, said, "It engulfed the homes of the victims within several minutes."
Liu Senlin, a farmer in Zhongxing who helps patrol the town to detect geological hazards, rushed to the scene at about 1 pm and found at least eight rural resorts had been buried. They were used by elderly people from Chengdu to escape the summer heat in the city.
"Temperatures in Zhongxing are two to three degrees lower than in Chengdu and it is popular with people who want a cooler summer," Liu said.
"The Zhongxing town government is trying to work out how many people were in the resorts."
Flooding triggered by the rain caused havoc on the Dujiangyan-Wenchuan Expressway, with hundreds of people stranded in the Taoguan Tunnel.
Hao Xuenan, an information officer with the Sichuan provincial government, said, "As communication has been cut off since 10 am, rescuers don't know the situation."
Hao said floods have affected 480,000 people in Sichuan and 30,000 have been evacuated.
Sichuan Governor Wei Hong headed for Sanxi to direct rescue operations.
Wang Zhongcheng, a provincial information officer, said, "As the road leading to Sanxi was damaged, the governor had to walk for half an hour to reach the scene of the landslide."
Three bridges collapsed in Sichuan as rivers swelled.
At 11:50am on Tuesday, the old Qinglian Bridge on the Fujiang River in Jiangyou collapsed. Twelve people and six vehicles remain missing.
The Niubizi Bridge and Xilong-Gongxing Bridge in Mianzhu city also collapsed. "Fortunately, no casualties were reported," said He Xiongfei, an information officer in Mianzhu.
Early on Tuesday morning, a barge hit a pier on the Qingbaijiang Bridge on the Chengdu section of the Baoji-Chengdu Railway, damaging the bridge.
"Trains are now passing at a reduced speed of 45 kilometres per hour. Workers will repair the bridge after the floods recede," said Xia Yongjing, an information officer with Chengdu Railway Bureau.
Gao Chengxiang, a young tourist from Beijing, was happy to be on a flight bound for the capital from Chengdu's Shuangliu International Airport at noon on Wednesday. All 3,000 passengers stranded at the airport on Tuesday left on Wednesday morning.
Lu Junming, an information officer at the airport, said, "When the rainstorm became more severe, 85 flights were delayed with 17,000 passengers stranded on Wednesday afternoon."