Landslide Buries School in Yunnan

As China is still trying to recover from several recent natural disasters, the BBC reports that a landslide in Yunnan Province buried a school and two other houses:

Nineteen people, 18 of them children, were buried when the landslide hit the school and two other houses in remote Yunnan province, officials say.

Search teams are still looking for survivors at the site. The landslide hit at 08:00 local time (00:00 GMT).

A series of earthquakes, including one of 5.8 magnitude, hit the province on 8 September, killing dozens of people.

Li Zhong, head of Yiliang’s education bureau, said that the students were at school during the national holiday to make up for classes suspended after the September earthquake, reports the China News Service.

According to the Associated Press, the landslide killed at least 5 of the buried school children:

A landslide toppled an elementary school building in a mountainous southwest China county on Thursday, burying 18 pupils and killing at least five of them, a state news agency said.

About 2,000 local cadres, medics, police and military personnel were trying to rescue the victims, the Yiliang county government said on its website.

The landslide smothered the Tiantou Elementary School and hit two farmhouses in Zhenhe village around 8 a.m., it said. More than 800 people were relocated.

While some of the bodies have been found, the search continues for nine missing people, CNN reports:

Hopes are fading that the nine people who remain missing will be found alive, CCTV said.

The landslide followed several days of rain, Yang Jianping, squadron leader of Yiliang County Armed Police, said in an interview with CCTV. A military rescue team of 50 soldiers has been dispatched to the area, he said.

“When we arrived, we saw one side of the mountain had collapsed and covered the primary school,” he said. “We can’t recognize the school at all.”

A woman who answered the phone at the county education commission’s office did not provide CNN with any details. She said officials authorized to talk to the media are out helping with rescue efforts. Calls to the local information office were not answered.




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