10 killed, 31 still missing in China’s landslide

Beijing, May 9:  At least 10 people have been killed while 31 others remain missing in a massive landslide that engulfed the construction site of a hydropower station in China’s southeastern Fujian Province.

Thirteen people who were rescued have been admitted to hospitals of which three are in serious condition.

Search is on for 31 others who were reported missing.

The mudslide occurred yesterday in Taining County, where about one lakh cubic meters of mud and rocks flowed downhill, burying a temporary shed at the hydropower station construction site and damaging its offices.

Ten bodies have been retrieved out of the piles of mud.

The bodies have not been identified yet.

“We were still asleep when the mountains began to jolt very strongly and before we know it, sand and mud are flowing into our room,” said Deng Chunwu, who survived the landslide by hiding underneath a supporting pole along with three other people in their work camp.

Deng added that their room has been pushed 10 meters further by the flowing mud.

“It’s been raining all the time over the past couple of days and I didn’t think it was a big deal,” Deng was quoted a saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The site under construction is an extension of the Chitan hydropower station, an affiliate of Huadian Fuxin Energy Limited Company.

The construction of the hydropower plant began in November 2015 and is expected to get operationalised in August 2017.

Rescuers are also working to clear the roads leading to the landslide site after multiple cave-ins.

Boulders, mud and twisted steel bars are scattered around the landslide site.

Sniffer dogs are working alongside over 600 rescuers to help detect any signs of life from the debris.

Dozens of excavators are digging through the pile, the report said.

Dozens of ambulances and army vehicles are on standby should anyone are uncovered from the debris. Intermittent rainfalls have complicated the rescue efforts.

Authorities said precipitation in Taining is 35 per cent higher than historical average since this year. In the last 24 hours, precipitation has hit up to 215.7 mm in parts of Taining, triggering landslide.

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