Dozens Buried in Sichuan Landslide

Heavy rainstorms hit south-west China this week, triggering a landslide on Wednesday which buried up to 40 people in the city of Dujiangyan, an area previously devastated by the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake. Rescuers have so far recovered 12 bodies from the debris. From Xinhua:

The landslide happened at around 10:30 a.m. in the village of Sanxi in the city of Dujiangyan, flattening 11 homes. Rainstorms have been battering the city since Monday evening, according to the publicity department of the Dujiangyan Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China.

[…] The affected area of the landslide is 2 kilometers long, with about 1.5 million cubic meters of mud, rock and debris, said Qiao Jianping, a researcher with the Institute of Mountain and Environment under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

As of 6:30 p.m., 340 tourists in Sanxi Village have been moved to safe areas. Villagers nearby have also been relocated. [Source]

Neighboring counties have also been affected by the floods, and evacuation orders are in force, according to the BBC:

On Tuesday a bridge collapsed in the nearby city of Jiangyou, leaving at least 12 people missing.

[…] Mud and landslides caused by flooding and strong rains are common in China’s mountainous areas, killing hundreds of people every year. Deforestation has also made soil erosion much more of a problem.

[…] Two other bridges, one in Jiangyou and one in Deyang, were also washed away, officials said.

Chinese officials said that the heavy rain had affected more than 500,000 people in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, damaged about 300 homes, and forced the evacuation of 36,800 people, Xinhua reported. [Source]

Dramatic video from Al Jazeera shows the flood damage and ongoing rescue efforts: