Two dead, 25 missing as part of mountain collapses in China

Rescue workers searching for survivors yesterday after a landslide occurred in the remote township of Zhangjiawan in Guizhou province. So far, six people, including the two who died, have been pulled out of the rubble.
Rescue workers searching for survivors yesterday after a landslide occurred in the remote township of Zhangjiawan in Guizhou province. So far, six people, including the two who died, have been pulled out of the rubble.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • A landslide caused part of a mountain to collapse onto a township in China's remote south-west, killing at least two people, with 25 missing.

The landslide sent rubble sweeping over 34 homes in Zhangjiawan township in the city of Bijie, Guizhou province, yesterday morning, state media said.

Video footage broadcast by media outlets showed large blocks of a mountain collapsing from a great height, leaving a dense plume of grey smoke and a long trail of rubble, as onlookers shouted in fright.

Another video showed people standing on top of massive boulders.

The national authorities have issued a Grade 4 emergency response for Bijie, the lowest in a four-tier alert system.

The designation mandates daily damage reports and the allocation of money and relief materials within 48 hours.

Footage from media outlets also showed rescue workers pulling survivors from collapsed homes in the aftermath, with shocked residents surveying the scene.

Rescuers pulled six people out of the rubble, including the two who died, the authorities said in a statement on their official website.

Search efforts were ongoing and the local authorities sent tents, quilts and camp beds to the site, Xinhua news agency said.

The China National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Civil Affairs have also sent officials to the area to assist disaster relief work.

Landslides are a frequent danger in rural and mountainous parts of China, particularly after heavy rain.

In June and this month, massive landslides in south-western Sichuan province killed more than 30 and left scores missing.

Last month, 63 people were killed by landslides and floods in the central province of Hunan.

Some 1.6 million people were forced to leave their homes.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2017, with the headline 'Two dead, 25 missing as part of mountain collapses in China'. Print Edition | Subscribe