A Deadly Landslide Buries More Than Hundred People
A massive landslide buried more than 40 houses in the mountainous province in China’s Sichuan province, killing at least 25 people and left 93 other missing.
CNN reports say the landslide occurred at 6 a.m.in Xinmo Village in Mao County. Authorities blamed heavy rains as the trigger factor of the landslides. According to Tian Yanshan, an official from China’s Ministry of Land and Resources, the causes of landslides could include rain and unstable rock masses.
“In this landslide, we feel that it is also because the whole mountain structure in Sichuan has become loosened following the earthquake on May 12, 2008. There is a drop in the ‘dynamic properties’, and its stability has also decreased. The recent rainfall has triggered the landslide,” Tian Yanshan said.
Sichuan province is prone to landslides caused by flooding and earthquakes. In 1933, 6,800 people died in landslides triggered by an earthquake.
Search and Rescue Operations Underway
Following the tragedy, Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered “all-out efforts” to save those buried.
In a desperate move to look for survivors, the government launch a massive rescue effort where more than 3,000 rescue workers were deployed in the disaster area.
The rescue team recovered ten more bodies by early afternoon on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 25.
Hope Fading Each Day
As days goes by and with the ongoing search operation, geological experts asserted that chances of survival for the missing were slim.
One Chinese resident of the neigbouring village told Reuters, “We pulled out two people but they were already dead. I think it’s too late, they’re unlikely to find anyone else alive.”
Wu said that the area was prone to landslides but the severity of Saturday’s slide was unprecedented.
Story of Survivors
A couple and their one-month-old baby were the first survivors pulled alive from the rubble on Saturday.
The couple shared their story on how they survived the tragedy. Qiao Dashuai, the head of the family, said he had heard a strange and loud sound and wanted to close the door to his house as wind was blowing in.
“I ran outside and felt this strong wind and saw water rushing towards us. A rock fell into our living room. We slowly crawled out while holding our baby and escaped. People from a neighboring village gave the baby a bath, and looked for clothes for us and the baby. As we went to the crossroads, we saw an ambulance. The ambulance sent us to Mao County [Hospital],” Qiao said.