Landslide in China buries 40 people during worst flooding in 50 years

Landslide in China buries 40 people during worst flooding in 50 years
The Qinglian bridge in Jiangyou was swept away by heaving flood waters. (AP)

Flooding in western China has triggered a landslide that buried up to 40 people and destroyed a high-profile memorial to a devastating 2008 earthquake.

There was no immediate word on the chances of survival for the 30 to 40 people buried in the city of Dujiangyan, but rescue workers with search dogs have rushed to the area, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The flooding is the worst in 50 years for some areas.

In nearby Beichuan county, flooding destroyed buildings and exhibits at a memorial for the earthquake five years ago in Sichuan province that left 90,000 people dead or missing.

The 2008 quake left the Beichuan county seat unliveable. The town was abandoned and 10 square miles of ruins was turned into a memorial and museum.

The flooding also caused the collapse of an almost 50-year-old bridge in a neighbouring county, sending six vehicles into the raging waters and leaving 12 people missing.

Since Sunday, flooding in Sichuan has affected 360,000 people, damaging or destroying 300 homes, and forcing at least 6,100 emergency evacuations, state media reported.

Mudslides and floods are common in China’s mountainous areas, killing hundreds of people every year. Deforestation has led to soil erosion and made some parts of China prone to mudslides after strong rains.


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