14 Aug 2010

More rain expected to hit western China

7:49 pm on 14 August 2010

China is to hold a national day of mourning on Sunday as millions in the country's west struggle with more rain and the aftermath of mudslides that have killed more than 1,100 people.

Torrential rains are forecast to continue through the weekend and further flash floods, landslides and floating debris continue to pose dangers in Gansu and Sichuan provinces.

The heavy rains have affected more than 305 million people and caused more than $US2 billion in economic losses.

In mudslide-stricken Zhouqu, a remote mountain town in Gansu province in China's northwest, 588 people are still missing after last weekend's avalanche of mud and rocks, which levelled an area 5km long and 300-metres wide.

Medical clinics have been damaged and vaccines ruined.

However, relief workers continue to gradually restore water, power and telecommunication services.

Meanwhile, work continues to clear the Bailong River, which overflowed after it was blocked by debris, triggering fears that further downpours could bring more flooding.