Rescuers race against clock to search for the missing
Pregnant woman in ICU after being pulled to safety by neighbor, 72
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.
Excavation machines are used by rescuers to search for survivors at the landslide site in Suichang county, Lishui, in Zhejiang province on Friday.
Families of some of the missing wait for news on Friday at the site of the disaster in Suichang county.