Death toll rises to 19 in SW China landslide

Rescuers search for victims where a landslide occurred in Yiliang County, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, Oct. 4, 2012. Nineteen people, including 18 students, were buried in a landslide here on Thursday. They were arranged to take classes despite the ongoing National Day holiday to make up for school delayed by the quakes.

One more body was retrieved on Friday afternoon, bringing the death toll to 19 in a landslide that occurred on Thursday in southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

Eight-hundred residents were relocated after the landslide occurred at around 8:10 a.m. on Thursday in the village of Zhenhe, Longhaixiang Township of Yiliang County, burying 19, said a spokesman with the landslide disaster relief headquarters.

Rescuers were continuing to drain water off the barrier lake that was formed as the landslide blocked a nearby river. As of 1 p.m. Friday, the water storage volume in the lake had dropped from 20,000 to 1,000 cubic meters, said the spokesman.

The victims’ families were each granted 20,000 yuan (3,160 U.S. dollars) as condolences in accordance with the standards received by the families of victims in the multiple earthquakes that hit the county in early September.

Among the dead, 18 were primary school students. They had been attending classes at the time of the landslide despite the ongoing National Day holiday to make up for school delayed by the quakes.

Yiliang was struck by multiple earthquakes on Sept. 7, leaving 81 people dead and 800 others injured.

Xinhua