Sat, September 04, 2010
China > Mainland

Death toll rises to 16 in SW China landslide

2010-09-04 09:00:09 GMT2010-09-04 17:00:09 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Rescuers transport disaster relief materials to Hedong Village of Baoshan City, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Sept.3, 2010. As of Friday afternoon, the landslide that hit the village caused 16 people dead and 32 still missing. Rescue work was underway. (Xinhua/Chen Haining)

Rescuers transport disaster relief materials to Hedong Village of Baoshan City, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Sept.3, 2010. As of Friday afternoon, the landslide that hit the village caused 16 people dead and 32 still missing. Rescue work was underway. (Xinhua/Chen Haining)

Rescuers transport disaster relief materials to Hedong Village of Baoshan City, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Sept.3, 2010. As of Friday afternoon, the landslide that hit the village caused 16 people dead and 32 still missing. Rescue work was underway. (Xinhua/Chen Haining)

A sanitation worker sterilizes the landslide-hit area at Hedong Village of Baoshan City, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Sept.3, 2010. As of Friday afternoon, the landslide that hit the village caused 16 people dead and 32 still missing. Rescue work was underway. (Xinhua/Chen Haining)

BAOSHAN, Yunnan, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from mudslides that hit a village in southwest China's Yunnan Province Wednesday climbed to 16, and 32 people are still missing, officials at the rescue headquarters said Friday.

By Friday night workers managed to restore the area's power supply, telecommunications and traffic services and rescuers are attempting to retrieve bodies buried up to eight meters in the mud.

However, rescuers are not able to use huge excavating shovels at the site, fearing the equipment might trigger new mudslides.

The mudslides occurred at about 10:20 p.m. Wednesday in Hedong Village of Longyang District in Baoshan City.

An initial investigation blamed the tragedy on loose dirt and rocks sitting on a steep slope which had been soaked by rain for about 10 days.

The debris, as large as 40,000 cubic meters, came crashing down on the densely populated village, trapping 71 people from 21 families.

More than 1,100 people have participated in the rescue operation and over 120 medical workers have assisted in treating the injured.

Also, additional first-aid supplies are being transported to the site, according to officials.

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