Thu, August 19, 2010
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China floods, mudslides wreak havoc

2010-08-19 06:29:46 GMT2010-08-19 14:29:46 (Beijing Time)

At least 15 people were reported dead and dozens missing in China's Sichuan province on Wednesday, where heavy rainfalls caused floods and dangerous landslides.

State television CCTV showed video of the disaster hitting Qinping village, where mud swallowed houses and forced nearly 5 and a half thousand people from their homes last week.

Rescue workers and a TV crew were filmed crossing a makeshift bridge made of bamboo sticks and ropes, when a female reporter was nearly swept away by the torrent.

She was saved by rescue workers and local villagers.

This footage -- shot by a Chinese reporter in recent days -- was just released on Wednesday since the stormy conditions made it impossible to leave the area sooner.

CCTV reported that soldiers have been dispatched to the region to help with rescue efforts.

Further north, in Gansu province, thousands of soldiers and rescue workers continue disaster relief efforts after the county of Zhouqu was devastated by landslides earlier in the month.

Over 1,200 people were killed then, and hundreds remain unaccounted for.

Further south in a remote town near the Myanmar border, Xinhua News Agency reported 67 people were missing on Wednesday after mudslides hit the area.

The water level of the nearby Nu River flowing from the mountains is reported to have risen by up to six meters.

Rescue workers have been sent to help, but the exact number of casualties is not yet known.

At least 1,000 people have died in the floods in central, southern and northeast China so far this year, and more heavy rain is forecast for much of the region in the coming days.

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