20 killed, 42 missing in Yunnan landslide

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 November, 2008, 12:00am

An early-morning landslide in the Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan has left at least 20 dead and 42 missing. More than 300 homes were destroyed.

Xinhua reported that the landslide, caused by heavy rain, swept through Xishelu town at about 2am.

The report omitted the extent of the damage but those missing were feared to have been buried.

Meanwhile, one person was killed, nine were missing and about 71,000 were forced to evacuate as torrential rain since Friday had caused flooding in Guangxi province , Xinhua reported.

A civil-affairs official said the deluge had affected 695,800 people in 12 counties, destroying 698 homes and inundating at least 48,271 hectares of farmland.

China News Service reported that Chuxiong government leaders had arrived to co-ordinate rescue operations immediately after the disaster hit and more resources were on their way as of yesterday morning.

It said the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the body responsible for distributing relief materials, had sent officials and rescue materials to the disaster zone yesterday.

With more than 70 per cent of its territory defined as mountainous, the mainland is at particular risk from natural disasters, such as flooding and landslides, after heavy rain.

Figures from the ministry said 409 people were killed in landslides in the first seven months of the year, down almost 50 per cent from the same period last year. But the toll is on the rise as several landslides since August have killed hundreds in Shanxi , Guangdong and Yunnan.