100 feared buried in China landslide

June 24, 2017 - 12:44 PM
People search for survivors at the site of a landslide that destroyed some 40 houses and is feared to have buried more than 100 people in Xinmo Village, China (Reuters)

A landslide on Saturday morning in China’s southwestern Sichuan province has buried the homes of around 100 people, according to the official Xinhua news agency, citing local authorities.

Xinhua did not give an estimate of the number killed or injured, but it said the landslide had covered 40 homes in Xinmo village in Maoxian county, a remote mountainous area of north Sichuan close to the region of Tibet.

The landslide blocked a two-kilometer (1.24 miles) stretch of a nearby river, according to Xinhua.

State television reports showed villagers and rescuers scrambling over piles of mud and rocks that had slid down a long steep slope. Xinhua said there were 400 people involved in the rescue effort and 6 ambulances were at the scene, and more were on their way.

Police have closed roads in the county to all traffic except for emergency services, the news agency said

There is an extensive network of dams in the region, including two hydropower plants in Diexi town near the buried village.

The area is prone to earthquakes, including one in 1933 that resulted in parts of Diexi town becoming submerged by a nearby lake, and an 8.0 magnitude tremor in central Sichuan’s Wenchuan county in 2008 that killed nearly 70,000 people.