China has joined the ranks of countries being hit with devastating natural disasters this weekend, as a massive landslide has taken numerous lives and left countless others missing and homeless. Sunday’s reports showed that at least 127 people have died as a result of the landslide and over 1300 more are unaccounted for. In addition to those, there are 76 reported injured and 45,000 that have been evacuated from the area.
The torrential rain the area has seen led to an obstruction of the Bailong River. This caused rushing water over the banks and led to the landslide. When the rains began Saturday night the ensuing mudslides were capturing people in their wake.
The flood waters had put most of the town in Chengguan Township under water. By late Sunday the levels had gone down by 40cm (16 inches).
The rescue efforts are being thwarted at this point by sludge. Walking and driving is impossible and workers are left with nothing but their hands to try to release those buried in the disaster, according to He Youxin, an officer with the Gannan branch of the Gansu Headquarters of Chinese People’s Armed Police Force. He pointed out that recovery was very hard.
Other villages were also affected by the disaster. In one village there were several hundred homes buried, leaving the death toll numbers unknown at this time.
Soldiers are either arriving or on their way to help with the relief efforts. At least 180 members of a medical team have been sent, and the police have sent in 2100 rescuers.