Mudslide in northern China leaves five people dead

Downpours cause flooding, close roads in western reaches of Beijing

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 June, 2017, 6:58pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 June, 2017, 11:37pm

Five people are dead and another remains missing after a landslide caused by heavy rains buried roads in a mountainous area in western Beijing, local authorities say.

In a brief statement published on its Weibo account on Monday morning, the Beijing municipal government said 11 people were initially reported missing in the Zhaitang area of Mentougou district but that five had been found as of 5am.

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The mudslide happened after heavy rains on Sunday afternoon battered the region, which is on the border with northern China’s Hebei province, the statement said.

Four hikers were killed, as well as a shepherd. Another trekker remained missing.

The authorities said a rescue mission had been launched.

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Several videos shot by members of the public of flooding and mudslides in the region were posted on Chinese social media on Monday.

“We encountered a mudslide in Huangcaoliang today, we were almost killed there,” a microblogger wrote to accompany a video posted on Weibo.

Huangcaoliang is a mountainous area about 14km from Zhaitang town.

Other videos showed roads blocked by floods, while a microblogger who identified himself as the editor of an automotive website claimed that tourists and locals had been left stranded on Sunday afternoon in the village of Hekou in Mentougou.

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The Beijing municipal government didn’t immediately respond to enquiries from the Post as to the damage caused to local communities.

Rainfall in the region was between six and 10mm per hour on Sunday, the statement said.

Last summer, a red rainstorm alert – the highest in the four-level system – was issued for Mentougou after 150mm of rain fell in six hours.