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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 3 April, 2020

#China Mudslide

HOPES OF finding any more survivors of China’s deadly mudslides faded today, as rescue workers began their third day of work following heavy rains on Wednesday night.

At least 1,117 people have been found dead and 627 are still missing in China’s northwest Gansu Province, according to reports from Xinhua state news agency.

567 survivors have received clinical treatment and a further 64 seriously injured people have been hospitalised. One survivor, a 52-year-old Tibetan man named Liu Ma Shindan, was pulled from the debris of a building on Tuesday morning – almost 60 hours after the mudslide hit.

Rescue teams consisting of troops from the People’s Liberation Army, surviors, and volunteers, are now being faced with the dilemma of whether to continue searching for survivors or to begin a clean-up operation, as disease and pollution due to a lack of clean water threaten the area.

Families of the victims are still waiting for news after three agonizing days, hoping to hear information about their loved ones. Xinhua interviewed one 20-year-old man who had been sitting by the site where his father’s apartment had once been for two days. Wang Pingtao, who was raised by his father after his mother died, told reporters: “I have to see him, whether he’s dead or alive.”

The scale of the disaster is hard to image: hundreds of households have entirely been buried in the tonnes of sludge and many more have been destroyed by the sheer force of the floodwaters.

Identifying the dead is also a problem. “In some households, all the people have died”, said Zhang Weixing, a Ministry of Civil Affairs official, at a news conference on Wednesday.

Rescue teams have also had to rely on hand-held tools, as heavier machinery is unable to tackle the ravaged land – or had been buried beneath tonnes of mud.

OVER 700 DEATHS have been confirmed as a result of the major mudslide which struck the Gansu province in northwest China on Sunday. Over a thousand people are still missing.

One man was rescued 50 hours after being buried by mud and rubble which trapped him in his home. The 52-year-old was described as being very weak, but breathing normally.

A family was rescued after a 12-hour rescue operation, according to the Xinhua news agency. More than 1,200 people have been rescued so far, but hopes of finding any more survivors is fading.

This CNN reporter explains the difficulties facing those involved in the search effort:

China’s premier Wen Jiabao has called on rescuers to continue the search until every survivor has been found, but the death toll is expected to rise even further.

Engineers using controlled explosives have succeeded in lowering the water level of an overfilled lake which cause the landslide:

THOUSANDS OF people are missing, and at least 137 people have died, after mudslides smashed towns in northern China following the heaviest seasonal flooding in over a decade, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Rescue workers in Zhouqu county in Gansu province are frantically trying to find survivors, in sludge as high as two metres. Heavy rains are feared to continue for the next five days.

As many as 2,000 residents are still missing following Sunday night’s mudslide.

Chinese authorities have increased the national disaster relief response level to grade II, the second highest level.

“Torrential rains began to fall at around 10 p.m. Saturday. Then there were mudslides and many people became trapped. Now sludge has become the biggest hinderance to rescue operations. It’s too thick to walk or drive through,” Diemujiangteng, head of the county said, according to Xinhua.

Electricity and clean water supplies have been cut off. The government estimates that county badly needs 400 tonnes of drinking water and 20 tonnes of instant food per day.

So far this year, more than 1,000 people have been killed in floods that have devastated some areas, particularly in central and southern China.

See pictures of the ongoing rescue efforts:

NATURAL DISASTERS across Europe and Asia have killed thousands of people, and have forced thousands more to flee their homes

Floods are continuing to plague Pakistan and China, and fires across Russia are causing serious damage and have covered Moscow in a thick smog.

Central Europe saw heavy rainfall over the weekend, which resulted in severe flooding in parts of Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic.

OVER 120 PEOPLE have been killed in a huge mudslide in China today, and another 2,000 people are missing. Some people are feared to have been swept away by flooding which accompanied the mudslide.Preview

The landslide struck an area of the Gansu province in northwest China after heavy rains last night, swamping one whole village. The landslide has formed a barrier, causing further flooding and preventing water from running off.

China’s premier is travelling from Beijing to the stricken region today.

Thousands of rescue workers and around 100 medical experts have been dispatched to the town to search for survivors. An estimated 50,000 people are affected, and some 45,000 have been evacuated.

Further rainfall is expected across northern China. The region has already suffered severe flooding over the past two months, and over 1,400 people have been killed by floods in China already this year.