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Rain-triggered landslide covers building, killing 18

[ 2011-07-20 11:31]     字号 [] [] []  
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XI'AN - Eighteen people were confirmed dead and four were injured when a rain-triggered landslide hit Lueyang county in northwestern Shaanxi province on Tuesday, local authorities said on Wednesday.

Torrential rain pounded Lueyang from 3 am to midday on Tuesday, triggering the 5,000-cubic-meter landslide that engulfed a two-story building in the county seat at 11:15 am, the government of Hanzhong city, which administers Lueyang, said in a statement.

The local government sent more than 400 people to the site to carry out rescue operations.

The teams reached 22 trapped people but 17 were already dead. One died after treatment failed. The four who were injured were treated in hospital.

Also in Lueyang, 80-year-old villager Sun Guiying remains missing after she was swept away while crossing a fast-moving river on Tuesday.

As of midnight on Tuesday, the downpours that had also wreaked havoc in 10 other counties administered by Hanzhong city had affected 102,300 people and forced the evacuation of almost 5,000.

The Hanzhong government said the massive rains leveled 1,341 houses and damaged 5,442 more. Nearly 6,000 hectares of farmland had been submerged.

Initial statistics indicate that the flooding has caused a direct economic loss of 160 million yuan ($25 million).

More heavy rains are expected to hit the southern part of Shaanxi during the next 24 hours, said the Shaanxi Meteorological Center on Wednesday.

From 9 am on Wednesday to 8 am on Thursday, the eastern area of Hanzhong is expected to receive more than 50 millimeters of precipitation, according to the center.

Flood control authorities in Shaanxi are on high alert and are evacuating people living in low-lying areas and places threatened by possible heavy rain and ensuing mountain torrents.

(中国日报网英语点津 Julie 编辑)

Rain-triggered landslide covers building, killing 18

Rain-triggered landslide covers building, killing 18

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China Daily for one year.