Res­cuers race against clock to search for the miss­ing

Preg­nant woman in ICU af­ter be­ing pulled to safety by neigh­bor, 72

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By SHI XIAOFENG in Suichang, Zhe­jiang prov­ince andXUJUNQIAN in Shang­hai Con­tact the writer at shixf@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Atotal of seven peo­ple were con­firmed dead, 15 res­cued and around 20 still miss­ing by Fri­day evening fol­low­ing a rain-trig­gered land­slide that dev­as­tated a vil­lage in Zhe­jiang prov­ince, of­fi­cials said.

Many res­cuers were work­ing around the clock. Four ad­di­tional bod­ies were found on Fri­day, adding to the three found on Thurs­day.

Ten were re­ported in­jured, the most se­ri­ous case be­ing that of a 25-year-old woman whois seven months preg­nant, sur­named Zhan, who was pulled to safe­ty­bya72-year-old woman in per­haps the dis­as­ter’s most dra­matic res­cue.

The land­slide was caused when Typhoon Megi hit Su­cun vil­lage in Suichang at about 5:30 pm on Wed­nes­day, caus­ing about 400,000 cu­bic meters of dirt, rocks and other de­bris to slide down a hill­side.

More than 4,000 peo­ple — with the help of ex­ca­va­tors, lifede­tec­tion equip­ment, dogs and drones to check un­sta­ble ar­eas — were rac­ing against the clock to search for the miss­ing. Fa­vor­able weather was help­ing.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has urged full ef­forts to search for those miss­ing, treat the in­jured, and guar­an­tee the safety and liveli­hood of those evac­u­ated from their ru­ined homes.

One of the 10 re­ported in­jured had been dis­charged from the hos­pi­tal by Fri­day evening, and eight were still hos­pi­tal­ized in sta­ble­con­di­tion with bone frac­tures and soft tis­sue in­juries, of­fi­cials said.

The preg­nant woman sur­named Zhan, who lost a fiveyear-old daugh­ter and her par­ents-in-law in the land­slide, was sent to hos­pi­tal around noon on Fri­day. Her left leg was frac­tured and she had sus­tained other in­juries and she was taken to the in­ten­sive-care unit.

Zhan’s preg­nancy made her case more com­pli­cated to treat, doc­tors said.

By Fri­day evening, Zhan’s con­di­tion was re­ported to­have sta­bi­lized, the hos­pi­tal said.

The old woman who res­cued Zhan, her neigh­bor Lin Jux­i­ang, was help­ing her in­jured, 78-year-old hus­band limp to safety when she heard Zhan’s cries for help.

Lin pulled Zhan to safety us­ing a stick. As the pair fled, Lin saw the mud­slide com­ing to­wardthe­mand they climbed atop a boulder. Two hours later, res­cuers found them neck deep in­mu­dand wa­ter.

A to­tal of 1,460 res­i­dents were evac­u­ated from the vil­lage for safety, many of them el­derly.

LIN YUNLONG / FOR CHINA DAILY

Ex­ca­va­tion ma­chines are used by res­cuers to search for sur­vivors at the land­slide site in Suichang county, Lishui, in Zhe­jiang prov­ince on Fri­day.

DONG XUMING / FOR CHINA DAILY

Fam­i­lies of some of the miss­ing wait for news on Fri­day at the site of the dis­as­ter in Suichang county.

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