Search for 11 miners trapped by flash flood

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 July, 2007, 12:00am

Rescuers were still scrambling yesterday to pump out water in a desperate attempt to locate 11 coal miners after a flash flood swamped the Makulue colliery in Xingxian county, Shanxi province , on Sunday.

Within half an hour, 45mm of rain was recorded at the mine on Sunday night, trapping nine miners working in the underground shaft and two who were trying to alert the miners.

There was no clear sign yesterday whether the miners were still alive, with falling rock and debris in the shaft hampering rescue efforts.

Rain has pounded many parts of the mainland since late May, affecting more than 200 million people and displacing over 4 million, according to Xinhua, citing data from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

As of July 16, 715 people had been killed in natural disasters, including floods, across the mainland this year and 219 were still unaccounted for.

In Anhui , a section of the Huai River had suffered four major breaches since Wednesday, threatening the surrounding farmland, a major power station and a coal mine.

Anhui flood-control officials have identified more than 500 spots along the river and its tributaries where rising waters threatened to overflow, prompting the authorities to call for vigilance in possible severe flooding.

Meanwhile, in Yunnan , relatives of 29 workers killed in a rain-induced landslide last week will receive 180,000 yuan each.

Floods, landslides and thunderstorms have killed more than 60 people and left eight missing in the province in the past week.

The China Meteorological Administration said yesterday that 10 mainland regions - including southern Sichuan , northern Yunnan and southeastern Tibet - were expected to experience more rain, thunderstorms and hail in the next 24 hours.

Disastrous deluge

Last year was the second deadliest for mainland weather, after 1998

The number of people killed in summer floods last year, according to the China Meteorological Administration 2,704