118 missing as landslide engulfs Chinese village

More than 3,000 rescuers have been searching for at least 118 people trapped under rocks and mud by a landslide that engulfed 62 homes in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Saturday, 24 June.

The landslide in Xinmo village in Maoxian County Saturday morning saw around eight million cubic meters of hillside descend on the village, blocking a 2-km section of river and burying 1,600 meters of road, reports state news agency Xinhua.

Fifteen people are confirmed dead, but the number is likely to rise.

On Sunday, 25 June the names of 118 missing people who were published on the website of Aba Tibet and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture and the government asked the public to provide any information which may lead to their rescue.

Rescuers used excavators, sniffer dogs and life-detection equipment to dig through debris as the search continued.

Maoxian county is located on the Minjiang River, a major tributary of the Yangtze. The area is prone to earthquakes, said Xinhua. A 7.5-magnitude earthquake in 1933 destroyed many villages.

In 1976, two strong earthquakes struck places about 100 km from the current disaster. The town is about 150 km from the epicentre of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which left over 80,000 people dead or missing.

Image: Rescuers at work in Xinmo Village of Maoxian County, Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Aba, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, 24 June, 2017 (Xinhua/Xue Yubin)

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