Death toll in China soars

The death toll from a landslide
that buried villages in western China rose to at least 702 people, with another
1,042 missing, as Premier Wen Jiabao oversees rescue efforts in the mountainous
region.

Rescuers digging by hand through
mud found a 52-year old man who had been trapped for more than 50 hours inside
a levelled apartment building in the remote town of Zhouqu county, located in
an ethnic Tibetan prefecture of western China’s Gansu province, where local
officials said more than 1,000 other people were still missing. Rescuers with
sniffer dogs discovered the man, Liu Ma Shindan, who was in weak condition but
breathing normally.

Wen, has ordered authorities to
expand the scope of searches, restore drinking water and to remove rocks and
mud blocking the flow of the Bailong River, which burst its banks.

Geological surveys of local areas
were also called for, with residents to be evacuated from any dangerous areas.

The landslides in remote, Gansu, were
triggered by torrential rains that hit the area late 7 August.

More rain is expected in the region
over the next three days, the China Meteorological Administration said.
Flooding caused by heavy rain has killed more than 1,800 people throughout
China this year and cost tens of billions of dollars in damage across 28
provinces and regions.

WORLDdeathtollSTORY

Liu Ma Shindan, 52, was rescued Tuesday after being trapped for more than 50 hours following landslide.
Photo: Yahoo news
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