Search for vic­tims of Sichuan land­slide

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

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.

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

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’.

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