1,300 Missing in China Amid Asian Flood Wave

The Associated Press reports on major floods in northwestern China:

Rescuers dug through mud and wreckage Monday searching for 1,300 people missing after flash floods and landslides struck northwestern China, just one of a series of floods across Asia that have killed hundreds and spread misery to millions more.

[…] Sunday’s disaster in China’s Gansu province killed at least 127 people and covered entire villages in water, mud, and rocks.

Vehicles carrying aid supplies choked the road Monday over bare, eroded mountains into the remote county seat of Zhouqu. Bodies wrapped in blankets were collected and laid on truck beds, although the government had not updated the death toll since Sunday night.

Work was under way to restore power, water and communications. It was not known how many of the missing were in danger or simply out of contact.

See also: “China, new superpower, tries to master environment” from USA Today:

This year, China will leapfrog Japan to become the second-biggest economy on Earth, behind only the USA, many economists predict. Next month, China starts broadcasts on CNN and other networks of an image-boosting commercial featuring stars such as basketballer Yao Ming and China’s first astronaut, Yang Liwei.

Back at ground level, though, in what remains a developing country, China’s people and government are struggling to deal with a series of natural disasters that some environmentalists believe are the deadly, man-made consequences of favoring economic growth over environmental protection.

The latest tragedy occurred early Sunday when heavy rain triggered landslides that blocked a river in Zhouqu County, an ethnically Tibetan area in northwestern Gansu province, forcing floodwater to sweep through the county seat. By 2 p.m. Monday, 337 people had died and 1,148 were missing, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

And from ITN News:

August 9, 2010 1:25 PM
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