Deadly storms, slides plague prov­inces

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By CHINA DAILY

Two mud­slides killed at least 31 peo­ple, with four still miss­ing, on Tues­day af­ter down­pours in two prov­inces, au­thor­i­ties said.

Rain­fall from Mon­day to Tues­day caused slides in Gengdi vil­lage of Puge county, Sichuan prov­ince. As of 6 pm Tues­day, res­cuers had saved one per­son from the de­bris, but 24 were found dead. Four peo­ple were in­jured and one other re­mained miss­ing, ac­cord­ing to the lo­cal govern­ment.

The moun­tain floods also dam­aged 5 kilo­me­ters of road and five bridges, and in­un­dated about 12 hectares of farm­land.

Di­rect eco­nomic losses from the dis­as­ter, which af­fected 577 peo­ple from 157 house­holds, was es­ti­mated to be 160 mil­lion yuan ($23.5 mil­lion), it said.

The Sichuan weather ob­ser­va­tory said more heavy rain­fall is ex­pected in some ar­eas of the prov­ince, which may lead to more dis­as­ters.

In Gansu prov­ince, down­pours from Sun­day evening to Mon­day morn­ing trig­gered mud­slides in three town­ships in Wenx­ian county. Some houses were swept away, and wa­ter and power sup­plies, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and traf­fic in some vil­lages were dis­rupted, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties said in a state­ment.

Res­cuers have found seven bod­ies. Two peo­ple were still miss­ing, while nearly 1,000 had been trans­ferred to safe ar­eas as of Tues­day morn­ing, it said.

Zhang Jiat­uan, spokesman for the State Flood Con­trol and Drought Re­lief Head­quar­ters, said in late June that ca­su­al­ties from moun­tain flood dis­as­ters, in­clud­ing mud­slides, had been re­duced sub­stan­tially thanks to the na­tional warn­ing sys­tem set up by the govern­ment.

From 2010 to 2016, China de­vel­oped mon­i­tor­ing and warn­ing sys­tems for moun­tain flood dis­as­ters in 2,058 coun­ties, he said.

Around 1,300 peo­ple per year, on av­er­age, died in moun­tain flood dis­as­ters from 2006 to 2010. Af­ter the warn­ing sys­tem was de­vel­oped, the av­er­age an­nual death toll de­creased to 400 (2011-15).

About 75,000 pre­cip­i­ta­tion and wa­ter-level mon­i­tor­ing sta­tions have been es­tab­lished, and more than 1.4 mil­lion alarm fa­cil­i­ties have been put into oper­a­tion, he said.

He added, how­ever, that some of the fa­cil­i­ties had been dam­aged in nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and needed to be re­placed. More­over, the sys­tem doesn’t yet cover all vil­lages.

“In some ar­eas, lo­cal gov­ern­ments are short of funds to main­tain th­ese fa­cil­i­ties,” he said.

were killed in two sep­a­rate mud­slides fol­low­ing down­pours in Gansu and Sichuan prov­inces as of Tues­day night.

XIN­HUA

Res­cue teams clean up an area that was buried by a mud­slide in Puge, Sichuan prov­ince, on Tues­day. The slide had claimed 24 lives as of Tues­day night. In Gansu prov­ince, slides were re­spon­si­ble for at least seven deaths.

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