47 Buried After Landslide in China

(RepublicanDaily.org) – A landslide in China’s Yunan province has caused the deaths of 25 people, with dozens more still missing.

The more than 1,000 emergency and rescue personnel operating in Yunan’s Zhenxiong County, where the incident took place, are hampered by adverse winter conditions, with snow and icy roads slowing down rescue operations. Another challenge rescuers are facing is their inability to use large earthmoving vehicles like excavators to speed up the search for survivors and victims, as these could cause more loose and unstable soil to collapse even further.

More than 500 people have since been evacuated from areas close to where the incident occurred as authorities take precautions to prevent more fatalities if more landslides occur. Eighteen households located in the village of Liangshui were affected by the initial incident, which was triggered when a cliff in a steep area of the nearby mountain collapsed. No reason for the initial collapse was given. Residents, however, have speculated that operations at a nearby coal mine could have something to do with the cliff collapse, as locals spotted cracks in the earth several weeks before the disaster.

The early death toll was set at eight, after the victims’ bodies were pulled out of the rubble, while two people were injured.

Local officials are also struggling to supply evacuees with the appropriate supplies to keep them warm along with food and other daily necessities. Electricity has also been cut off in the area and has not been restored as of press time.

Landslides and similar incidents are commonplace in China, which are either caused by adverse weather conditions like snow and rain, as well as unsafe construction and poor planning. Natural disasters alone have caused the Asian giant as much as $48 billion in economic losses, and have accounted for the deaths of close to 700 people just last year.

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