Search for victims of Sichuan landslide
CHENGDU: Over 3 000 rescuers are searching for at least 93 people trapped under rocks and mud by a landslide in south-west China’s Sichuan Province.
The landslide engulfed 62 homes in Xinmo village in Maoxian County on Saturday morning, blocking a 2km section of river and burying 1 600m of road.
Fifteen bodies had been recovered by late Saturday.
About eight million cubic metres of hillside descended on the village.
A 36-day-old baby boy’s crying awoke his parents and led to their escape from the disaster. The baby and his parents were taken to the West China Second University Hospital in Chengdu, about 200km away.
Qiao Dashuai said he and his wife woke up from their son’s cries at about 5.30am.
“Just after we changed his diaper, we heard a big bang outside and the lights went out,” said Qiao.
“We felt that something bad was happening and immediately rushed to the door, which was blocked by mud and rocks,” he said.
They were dug out by rescuers around 6.50am and taken to hospital. The husband and wife suffered bruises. The baby, who inhaled muddy water, was treated for pneumonia.
Qiao’s parents and his 3-year-old daughter remain unaccounted for.
Yesterday, the names of the missing were published on the website of Aba Tibet and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture.
The government asked the public to provide any information which may lead to their discovery and rescue.
Rescuers used excavators, sniffer dogs and life-detection equipment to dig through debris as the search continued.
Maoxian county is located on the Minjiang River, a major tributary of the Yangtze. The area is prone to earthquakes. A 7.5-magnitude earthquake in 1933 destroyed many villages.
In 1976, two strong earthquakes struck places about 100km from the current disaster. The town is about 150km from the epicentre of the 2008 earthquake, which left over 80 000 people dead or missing.
Rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a landslide that occurred in Xinmo Village, Sichuan Province, China, on Saturday. The writing on the flag reads: ‘Chengdu Fire Department Rescue Team’.