Sat, 12 Jan 2013 12:53:47 GMT

42 killed as landslide hits Chinese village

From K J M Varma
Beijing, Jan 11 (PTI) At least 42 people, including children, were killed and dozens reported missing in one of China''s worst landslides which engulfed an entire village in a mountainous region of Yunnan province, officials said today.

Over 1,000 rescue workers were pressed in to look for survivors in debris of tonnes of mud which enveloped Gaopo Village, Zhenxiong County this morning.

The village is located 550 km northeast of Kunming city, Yunnan''s capital.

"The landslide, which brought about several hundred-thousand cubic meters of watery mud to the village, buried all of the houses there and created great difficulties for rescue efforts amid low temperatures," Sun Anfa, the leader of a local rescue team told state-run Xinhua news agency.

Two injured people have been sent to a nearby hospital.

Rescuers were brought in from nearby areas. Five excavators and four front loader trucks were pressed into remove the mud.

Chinese leaders Xi Jinping, Wen Jiabao and Li Keqiang have ordered all-out efforts to rescue victims of the landslide in order to minimize casualties from the disaster.

Xi, the newly-elected General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China, said efforts must be made to resettle affected residents, prevent secondary disasters and successfully complete relief work so as to ensure stability.

Local civil affairs bureau said according to initial accounts, 46 residents including 27 adults and 19 children of Gaopo Village were buried in the landslide.

The landslide mass has been estimated at 300 metres long, 80 metres wide and 30 metres deep, said authorities with the county government.

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