Mudslide Death Toll in Northwestern China Rises to 1,407

CNN reports on the increased death toll in Zhouqu County:

The death toll from the mudslides in a northwestern Chinese province now stands at 1,407, state-run Xinhua news agency said Friday, citing the government. At least 358 people are still missing.

The mudslides occurred in Zhouqu County in Gansu province. More than 1,700 mudslide evacuees have been living at schools, but will be relocated as students begin their school year.

Households will be moved to Shachuan Village, in the western part of the mudslides-leveled county, said Yang Jianguo, a government official in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture which administers Zhouqu.

More than 1,000 tents will be erected at a new settlement zone with three tents for each family, said Yang, quoted by Xinhua.

According to Caijing, China in 2010 has seen “ten-fold more geological disasters than 2009”:

The number of geological disasters in China in the first half of the year is nearly ten-fold more than that in the same period of last year, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said, citing an official.

Landslides triggered by heavy rain has ravaged Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces since the beginning of August, and the Ministry of Land had declared the highest level national emergency response system three times within just one month.

The disasters are mostly due to a dramatic change of global climate and more severe tectonic activities, Minister of Land and Resources Xu Shaoshi said.

All of the several recent disasters are hard to detect, with nature of sudden and devastating, he added.

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