Landslide in Yunnan Leaves Dozens Dead

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The landslide’s death toll continues to grow. (Image Credit: BBC)

The death toll of a landslide which struck a remote village in southwestern China has already reached 44, amid recovery teams searching through the rubble and destroyed houses, all while in freezing temperatures.

The landslide occurred in a remote village called Liang Shui, in the northeastern part of Yunnan province. This location is around 1,400 miles southwest of Beijing, the capital of China, with high altitudes that reach up to 7,900 feet. The landslide then ended up burying 18 homes, while dozens of people.

Luo Dongmei was one such victim from the disaster, who was sleeping when the landslide first hit, and fortunately had survived and was relocated by authorities to a schoolhouse. “I was asleep, but my brother knocked on the door and woke me up. They said there was a landslide, and the bed was shaking, so they rushed upstairs and woke us up,” Luo explained.

Rescue efforts were comprised of at least 1,000 workers, while also with the assistance of dogs, drones, and other devices, working to search through the rubble for those still buried in rubble.

Landslides are a fairly common occurrence in China, usually as a result of rain or unsafe construction work. Just last year, more then 70 people lost their lives to landslides, and natural disasters in China overall left roughly 691 people either dead or missing.

The first of investigative efforts indicate that this disaster from the landslide occurred due to the collapse of a clifftop, explained by China’s news organization, Xinhua. Landslides in the remote mountains of Yunnan are a very common occurrence, because of unstable soil and precipitous slopes. The collapsed clifftop was roughly 150 meters above the village, though what specifically caused the cliff to crumble in the first place is yet to be disclosed.

The president of China, Xi Jingping has encouraged local officials to increase rescue attempts. President Xi has also urged officials spanning all over China to stay on high alert on avoiding any disasters or accidents with the Lunar new year celebrations approaching soon.

Written by Kevin Han

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