China: At least eight dead, dozens missing in Yunnan landslide

Rescuers search for survivors at the ruins of a landslide on January 22, 2024 in Zhenxiong County, Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province of China. The landslide has left 47 people buried on early January 22 in Zhaotong, Yunnan province.
Image caption,Rescue workers in Zhenxiong county are working in sub-zero temperatures

By Fan Wang

BBC News

At least eight people have died and dozens are still missing after a landslide struck China’s southwestern province of Yunnan.

The landslide in Zhaotong city happened at 05:51 local time (21:51 GMT) on Monday, trapping 47 people.

President Xi Jinping has ordered an “all-out” rescue in the area which is experiencing sub-zero temperatures.

The cause of the landslide remains unclear, but the remote, mountainous region is prone to them.

More than 500 people were evacuated from their homes and nearly 1,000 rescue workers were dispatched to the site. Chinese vice-premier Zhang Guoqing reportedly led a group to the site to guide rescue operations.

One of the villagers told local media that most of the residents were either elderly or children. Another resident told local news outlet Jimu News that the landslide happened while many people were still asleep on Monday morning.

“It was very loud, and there was also a shake, it felt like a big earthquake,” she said.

Video clips shared on social media showed rescuers walking on piles of rubble against a backdrop of snow-covered mountains. Personal belongings are seen scattered among the collapsed masonry.

In January 2013, at least 18 people were killed in a landslide in the same county.

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