35 People Missing in Landslide in China
Rescue efforts are underway to look for survivors who are feared to be buried under rocks and mud after a landslide hit Fujian province in southeastern China.
The disaster has left as many as 41 people missing.
Heavy rains hammered the mountainous province in Fujian on the weekend. In less than 24 hours, landslides followed, causing mud and rocks to flow downhill. A construction site of a hydropower project was buried instantly.
According to Chinese authorities, rocks and mud with a volume of 100,000 cubic meters (3.5 million cubic feet) flowed downhill, burying a workers’ living area at the site. Most of the victims were caught off guard as the landslides occurred at 5 a.m. local time while most of the workers were sleeping.
Eight Workers Pulled Out Alive
The Fujian authorities responded immediately as calls for help were heard. Eight workers were pulled out alive but most have sustained injuries including broken bones.
Rescue efforts are also affected by roads that are covered by mudslides and flooding. This hindrance slows down rescue efforts.
Chinese Authorities Issue Warning for Possible Landslides
Heavy downpours of rain has affected much of southern China since Wednesday, triggering floods and landslides. The possibility of another disaster alarmed the Chinese authorities. To prevent more casualties, the National Meteorological Center issued warnings to residents in the province and neighboring areas to be extra careful and vigilant for possible landslides brought on by the heavy rain.
Tourist spots in the Fujian province were closed because of the disaster.
China’s President Xi Jinping responded to the disaster by calling for “maximum efforts” to hasten search and rescue operations.
Other Landslide Incidents
In December 2015, a landslide buried a construction waste site at Shenzhen, in the southern part of China. That incident left 69 dead and 8 persons reported missing. China considered the disaster an industrial accident due to human negligence rather than a natural disaster.