Death toll from south-west China landslide rises to 39

Rescuers are still searching for people missing after a deadly landslide in south-west China.

Rescuers are still searching for people missing after a deadly landslide in south-west China. Photo: VCG via Getty

The death toll from a landslide in a remote, mountainous part of south-west China has risen to 39, while five people remain missing, Chinese state media reports.

The disaster struck early on Monday in the village of Liangshui in the north-eastern part of Yunnan province.

Search and rescue operations continued amid freezing temperatures and falling snow on Thursday.

More than 1000 rescuers were working at the site with the help of excavators, drones and rescue dogs, the Ministry of Emergency Management said on Tuesday.

Two survivors were found on Monday and were recovering at a local hospital.

State news agency Xinhua, citing a preliminary investigation by local experts, said the landslide was triggered by the collapse of a steep clifftop area, with the collapsed mass measuring about 100 metres wide, 60 metres in height and an average of six metres in thickness.

It did not elaborate on what caused the initial collapse.

Aerial photos posted by Xinhua showed the side of a heavily terraced mountain had spilled over several village homes.

More than 900 villagers were relocated.

Zhenxiong county lies about 2250 kilometres south-west of Beijing, with altitudes ranging as high as 2400 metres.

Rescuers struggled with snow, icy roads and freezing temperatures that were forecast to persist for the next few days.

Heavy snow has been falling in many parts of China, causing transportation chaos and endangering lives.

Rescuers evacuated tourists on January 16 from a remote skiing area in north-western China where dozens of avalanches triggered by heavy snow had trapped more than 1000 people for a week.

The avalanches blocked roads, stranding both tourists and residents in a village in Altay prefecture in the Xinjiang region, close to China’s border with Mongolia, Russia and Kazakhstan.

On Tuesday, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in a remote part of Xinjiang killed at least three people and caused extensive damage in freezing weather.

Officials suggested the area’s sparse population contributed to the “very strong” quake’s low death toll.

In all, natural disasters in China left 691 people dead and missing in 2023, causing direct economic losses of about 345 billion yuan ($73 billion), according to the National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Emergency Management.

The Ministry of Natural Resources implemented emergency response measures for geological disasters and sent a team of experts to the site.


Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.