33 missing after China landslides: Xinhua

Rescue workers try to recover a railway line affected by Typhoon Megi, in Fuzhou, China. In Zhejiang province, rescuers have pulled 15 people alive from a landslide that slammed into a village.
Rescue workers try to recover a railway line affected by Typhoon Megi, in Fuzhou, China. In Zhejiang province, rescuers have pulled 15 people alive from a landslide that slammed into a village. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING  (AFP) – At least 33 people are missing a day after landslides swept through two east China villages, state media reported Thursday (Sept 29), as rescuers combed through rubble for survivors.

Heavy wind and rains brought by Typhoon Megi triggered the landslides around 5.30pm Wednesday, which struck the villages of Sucun and Baofeng in eastern Zhejiang province, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Thirteen people had been rescued by early Thursday and 33 remain missing, it said.

Video footage on local media showed torrents of water and rock pouring down a mountain towards houses in the valley below while terrified onlookers scream.

Twenty houses were destroyed and 17 flooded by roughly 400,000 cubic metres of debris, Xinhua cited a county official saying.

The government has relocated almost 1,500 residents and dispatched 1,200 rescuers to the scene with pumps and excavators, but roaring floodwaters have hampered their efforts, it said, adding that smaller landslides are “likely” to be triggered.

“Our work now is to save people, survivors above all, and at the same time prevent further secondary disasters occurring,” the Suichang County Armed Forces chief said on state broadcaster CCTV.

 

Heavy rains poured on rescue workers in Sucun village Thursday, a day after Megi made landfall with winds of around 120 kilometres an hour.

The typhoon has dumped more than 30 centimetres of precipitation in several areas and killed at least one person in Fujian, who died after a flash flood tore through his home, according to local media reports.

Images on the state broadcaster showed parked cars on the streets of the coastal city of Xiamen submerged up to their windshields in floodwater.

The typhoon had smashed into Taiwan earlier in the week, leaving a trail of destruction and four people dead as it raked across the island.