12 Aug 2010

More landslides feared in north-west China

8:41 pm on 12 August 2010

Heavy rain is hampering rescue efforts in north-west China after a massive landslide on Saturday killed more than 1100 people.

About 630 people are still missing in Zhouqu county in Gansu province, according to officials.

Two survivors were found on Wednesday, though hopes were fading and rescuers were turning their efforts to finding bodies and preventing disease, the BBC reports.

More rain is forecast for later this week, prompting fears of further landslides.

Heavy rain was already said to be falling in Zhouqu on Wednesday and as much as 90mm of rain was forecast for Friday, the National Meteorological Centre reported.

Soldiers have been using explosives to blast through debris that partly dammed the Bailong River and created an unstable lake, which eventually overflowed and sent a wave of water engulfing the town of Zhouqu early on Sunday.

A 1km long drainage channel was bringing the water level down, the official Xinhua news agency quoted the vice-minister of water resources as saying.