Landslide buries 47 people in China’s southwestern Yunnan province

Rescue efforts under way in mountainous area of southwestern China after pre-dawn disaster.

Rescuers at the landslide location. They are in orange uniforms with hard hats. There is a ticker at the bottom because the picture has been taken from a TV broadcast
State media showed rescue workers at the scene of the landslide [CCTV via AP Photo]

Rescue efforts are under way in southwestern China’s mountainous Yunnan province after at least 47 people were buried in a landslide.

State news agency Xinhua reported that the disaster struck just before 6am (22:00 GMT on Sunday) in the village of Liangshui, beneath the town of Tangfang in Zhenxiong County.

(Al Jazeera)

Authorities said rescuers were trying to find victims buried in 18 separate houses. Xinhua showed footage of men in orange jumpsuits and hard hats picking their way though piles of concrete blocks and twisted steel. There was snow on some of the rubble and on buildings that were still standing.

The cause of the landslide was not immediately known.

Authorities said about 500 people had been evacuated.

Scene of the landslide taken on a mobile phone.
The landslide hit Liangshui Village in Yunnan province [Video obtained by Reuters]


Landslides are common in Yunnan, a remote region of China where steep mountain ranges rise up into the Himalayan Plateau.

China has experienced a string of natural disasters in recent months and Yunnan is among several provinces in the country’s southern region currently experiencing a cold wave and bitter temperatures near or below freezing.

The landslide comes just more than a month after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the northwest between the Gansu and Qinghai provinces, killing at least 149 people and triggering heavy mudslides.

Nearly 1,000 people were injured and more than 14,000 homes were destroyed.

It was China’s deadliest earthquake in nine years.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies