9 Aug 2010

Rescuers sent to landslide victims in China

11:53 am on 9 August 2010

Thousands of rescue workers have been sent to help search for survivors of landslides that have killed at least 127 people and left almost 1300 missing in northwest China.

More than 4,500 soldiers, firefighters and medical staff have been sent to Zhouqu in Gansu province, as well as helicopters and aircraft, the BBC reports.

Residential areas of the county, which lies in a narrow river valley, were inundated when water built up behind a landslide in the riverw which then burst its banks.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has visited the area.

About 19,000 people living downstream from the landslide blocking the river have been evacuated.

Much of central and southern China has been affected by floods this year, which have caused the deaths of some 1400 people.