China to mourn landslide victims

Sunday declared as national day of mourning in country battered by torrential rains.

    Hopes of finding survivors are fading as rains
    hamper rescue efforts [AFP]

    In mudslide-stricken Zhouqu, a remote mountain town in Gansu province in China's northwest, 588 people were still missing after last weekend's avalanche of mud and rocks, which levelled an area five kilometres long and 300m wide.

    The official death toll in Zhouqu stood at 1,156 on Friday.

    Health authorities said survivors of the deadly floods and landslides in Zhouqu faced a grim situation after clinics were damaged and vaccines ruined.

    Continued destruction

    Work continued to clear Gansu's Bailong River, which overflowed after it was blocked by debris, triggering fears that further downpours could bring more flooding.

    Disaster in figures

     Landslides in country's west have killed more than 1,150 people

     Heavy rains have affected over 300 million people and caused $1.7bn in economic losses

     More than 2,100 people are dead or missing across China due to floods and landslides

     Twelve million people have been evacuated nationwide

    Elsewhere in Gansu, new floods and landslides killed 29 people and left 27 missing in the cities of Longnan and Tianshui close to Zhouqu, Xinhua said.

    About 10,600 residents in Longnan were evacuated after more than 150mm of rain fell overnight on Wednesday.

    Floods also have killed at least nine people and left 12 missing in Gansu's neighbouring province of Sichuan over the past two days.

    The mudslides in Zhouqu are the latest in a string of weather-related disasters across China.

    More than 2,100 people have been left dead or missing and 12 million evacuated nationwide, not including the toll from the Zhouqu incident.

    The civil affairs ministry said on Friday that it had not calculated a new nationwide flood death toll.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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