Photo: Agence France-Presse More than 1,000 rescuers were dispatched to the scene, as well as dozens of dogs and some 120 vehicles
France Media Agency in Beijing
January 22, 2024
Rescuers were mobilized in China on Tuesday to find dozens of people still buried after a landslide in a mountainous area, which has already killed 11 people, state media said.
The tragedy unfolded shortly before 6 a.m. (10 p.m. GMT) on Monday in the village of Liangshui, in the province of Yunnan (southwest of the country). It affected 18 homes and caused the preventive evacuation of more than 200 people.
Rescue teams are now engaged in a “race against time” to find the missing people in sub-zero temperatures, the official Xinhua news agency said.
“Search and rescue operations continued all night,” firefighter Li Shenglong told the agency as the scene of the tragedy was covered in snow.
47 people were buried at the time of the tragedy and 11 have already been found dead, according to the latest human toll established Monday evening by the authorities, according to New China. More than 1,000 rescuers were dispatched to the scene, as well as dozens of dogs and some 120 vehicles, the agency said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday called on relief efforts to “do everything possible to limit the number of casualties.”
Yunnan is a mountainous province, populated by many ethnic groups and one of the poorest in China.
Monday's disaster occurred in a rural area surrounded by towering snow-covered peaks, state media footage showed. No reason has yet been put forward to explain the tragedy.
Landslides occur regularly in mountainous southwest China, especially after rainfall. In September, storms in the Guangxi region (south) caused a landslide in a mountainous area, which killed at least seven people, according to local press. Around twenty people died last August after a landslide following a flash flood in a village near the large city of Xi'an (north).
In June 2023, a landslide in the province of Sichuan (southwest), also isolated and mountainous, killed 19 people.