BEIJING – BEIJING (AP) — 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 80 people missing in Puladi township, a remote mountain community in Yunnan province. Hillsides loosened by rain crashed down on the riverside township early Wednesday, covering all but the tallest buildings with a layer of mud and rock several feet (meters) thick. Twelve people were killed, the official Xinhua New Agency said Friday.
It was just the latest landslide to strike China. The worst carnage came Aug. 8 in the town of Zhouqu in the northwestern province of Gansu, where 1,407 people were killed and 358 are still missing. More than 40 people were also killed by floods in two nearby cities.
In southern Sichuan province, floods and mudslides knocked down thousands of homes and cut off roads and power in hard-hit communities including Qingping, Yingxiu and Longchi townships, Xinhua reported. At least 16 people have died and 66 were missing following downpours in the past week.
A disaster was averted in Sichuan on Thursday when authorities rescued all passengers from two train cars that dangled from a flood-damaged bridge over a muddy, rushing river for several minutes before falling into the water.
The two cars dropped into the river just minutes after the last passenger was moved to safety, dining car supervisor Wang Baoning told China Central Television.
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.