Scores still missing in western China mudslides

Rescue crews searched Friday for scores of people left missing and feared dead in southwestern China after torrential rains triggered massive mudslides during a summer plagued by deadly rains and flooding.

Rainfall hampered efforts to find 88 people in Puladi township, a remote mountain community in Yunnan province. Hillsides thundered down on the riverside township before dawn Wednesday, covering all but the tallest buildings with a layer of mud and rock several feet (meters) thick.

It was just the latest landslide to strike China. The worst carnage came Aug. 8 in the town of Zhouqu in the province of Gansu, where 1,364 people were listed as dead and 401 are still missing.

Rescuers move a victim's body after a landslide in Gongshan county, in southwest China's Yunnan province, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010

A disaster was averted in Sichuan province Thursday when authorities managed to evacuate all passengers from two train cars that dangled for several minutes over a muddy, rushing river before the carriages fell into the water.

The train was traveling in Guanghan city when it began shaking and then stopped moving, according to dining car supervisor Wang Baoning. Floodwaters had loosened piers on the Shitingjiang bridge, Xinhua said.

The two cars were hanging over the water in a "V" shape, but were still connected to the adjacent carriages, Wang told state broadcaster CCTV. It took more than 10 minutes to evacuate the cars, he said.

"Less than two minutes later, one carriage fell into the river. About 10 minutes after that, the other one fell in too," he said. No passengers were killed or injured, state media reported.

The train cars were swept a short distance downstream and were almost completely submerged after being trapped against the base of another bridge, CCTV footage showed.

The train was traveling from Xi'an in northwestern Shaanxi province to Kunming in southwestern Yunnan province.

Floods and landslides across China in recent months have left hundreds dead and washed away settlements in some parts of the country. The storms have caused tens of billions of dollars in damage.

source AFP

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