Landslide in China's Sichuan province kills 14, leaves five missing

BEIJING, June 4 (AFP/Reuters): Fourteen people were killed and five are missing following a landslide in south-western China’s Sichuan province on Sunday, the local government said.

The landslide “took place high on a mountain” at 6am at a state-owned forestry station in Jinkouhe, near the city of Leshan, the local government said in an online statement.

“As at 3.30pm, the remains of 14 victims have been recovered, while five people remain missing,” the statement said.

The authorities sent over 180 people and more than a dozen pieces of rescue-and-recovery equipment to the site, according to the statement.

“Currently, search-and-rescue work is urgently under way,” it said.

Leshan was hit by heavy rain over the two days before the incident, weather tracking data indicated.

The site is in a mountainous region about 240km from the provincial capital of Chengdu.

Landslides are a frequent danger in rural and mountainous parts of China, particularly during the rainy summer months.

An official in Jinkouhe’s publicity department declined to give further comment on Sunday’s landslide.

The settlement of around 40,000 people lies between verdant mountains and a wide river and its economy largely runs on forestry, power generation, agriculture and other industries.

Remote and densely forested, much of Sichuan is particularly prone to disasters.

Extreme weather triggered a series of landslides in the province in 2017, including one that completely buried the mountain village of Xinmo, entombing more than 60 homes.

In 2019, massive rains again caused a slew of landslides, including one that buried a section of railway under repair and those working on it.

The province is also seismically active and periodically experiences deadly earthquakes.

A 7.9-magnitude quake in 2008 left more than 87,000 people dead or missing, including 5,335 school pupils. - AFP/Reuters

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