Landslide buries mountain village in southwest China, fears for 141 people

People search for survivors at the site of a landslide that destroyed some 40 households, where more than 100 people are feared to be buried, local media reports, in Xinmo Village, Sichuan Province, China June 24, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) – Fears grew for 141 people missing in China after a landslide buried their mountain village in southwestern Sichuan province on Saturday, with reports that only three survivors had been pulled out of the mud and rock hours after the calamity struck.

The landslide swept over 46 homes as dawn broke at around 6 a.m. in Xinmo village in Maoxian county, a remote mountainous area of north Sichuan close to the region of Tibet, according to the official Xinhua state news agency.

President Xi Jinping urged on the rescue effort, but state broadcaster CCTV reported that by midday the only people rescued were a couple and their two-month-old baby.

Xinhua said the estimated number of missing was provided by local authorities.

The landslide blocked a two-kilometer (1.24 miles) stretch of a nearby river and 1.6 kilometers of road, according to Xinhua.

State television reports showed villagers and rescuers scrambling over mounds of mud and rocks that had slid down the mountainside. Xinhua said there were 400 people involved in the rescue effort and 6 ambulances were at the scene, and more were on their way.

The television images showed water thick with mud flowing over the site, submerging a car pushed from the road, while police and residents pulled on ropes to try to dislodge large boulders.

Police have closed roads in the county to all traffic except emergency services, the news agency said.

There is an extensive network of dams in the region, including two hydropower plants in Diexi town near the buried village.

A researcher from the Chengdu Chinese Academy of Social Science, a state-backed think tank, told China Radio International that heavy rainfall probably caused the slide. The researcher, whose name wasn’t given, also warned of the risk that a dam could collapse, endangering communities further downstream.

The area is prone to earthquakes, including one in 1933 that resulted in parts of Diexi town becoming submerged by a nearby lake, and an 8.0 magnitude tremor in central Sichuan’s Wenchuan county in 2008 that killed nearly 70,000 people.

(Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Landslide, floods kill 156 in Bangladesh, India; toll could rise

An aerial view showing the town half-submerged in floodwaters following landslides triggered by heavy rain in Khagrachari, Bangladesh, in this still frame taken from video June 13, 2017. REUTERS/REUTERS TV

By Ruma Paul and Zarir Hussain

DHAKA/GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) – Heavy rains have triggered a series of landslides and floods in Bangladesh and neighbouring northeast India, killing at least 156 people over two days, and officials warned on Wednesday the toll could rise.

Densely populated Bangladesh is battered by storms, floods and landslides every rainy season. The latest casualties come weeks after Cyclone Mora killed at least seven people and damaged tens of thousands of homes.

Landslides hit three hilly districts in Bangladesh’s southeast early on Tuesday, killing 100 people in Rangamati, 36 in Chittagong and six in Bandarban, said Reaz Ahmed, head of the department of disaster management.

Fresh landslides on Wednesday killed one person in the district of Khagrachari and two in the coastal town of Cox’s Bazar, he added.

The town bordering Myanmar is home to thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees and was just beginning to recover from Cyclone Mora.

Ahmed said many people were still missing in the landslide-hit districts and the death toll could rise further as rescuers search for bodies. The toll included four soldiers trapped by a landslide during a rescue operation in Rangamati, he added.

Shah Kamal, the secretary of Bangladesh’s disaster ministry, said there had been no rain on Wednesday and rescue operations were in full swing.

“It is a great relief. Some areas in the district are still cut off but people are being moved through navy boats,” he told Reuters by telephone from Rangamati.

But weather officials in Bangladesh have forecast light to moderate showers accompanied by gusty or squally wind during the next 24 hours in places like Chittagong.

In the Indian states of Mizoram and Assam, which border Bangladesh, at least 11 people were killed as incessant rains flooded major cities.

Authorities in Mizoram retrieved nine bodies, but about seven people were still missing after landslides caused several homes to cave in, the state’s urban development minister said.

India was ready to support Bangladesh with search and rescue efforts if needed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office said in a statement.

Outside help might not be needed, however, two Bangladesh government officials said.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul in DHAKA and Zarir Hussain in GUWAHATI; Editing by Krishna N. Das and Clarence Fernandez)

Colombia landslide kills at least 17 as rains lash Andes

View of a neighborhood destroyed after mudslides, caused by heavy rains leading several rivers to overflow, pushing sediment and rocks into buildings and roads, in Manizales, Colombia April 19, 2017. REUTERS/Santiago Osorio

BOGOTA (Reuters) – At least 17 people were killed and seven are missing after a landslide sent mud and rocks crashing into several neighborhoods in Manizales, Colombia, the government said on Wednesday, the second deadly landslide in the country this month.

Recent heavy rains have endangered residents in dozens of provincial towns, where makeshift construction on the slopes of the Andes mountains makes neighborhoods particularly susceptible to avalanches and flooding.

The landslide in Manizales, capital of coffee-growing Caldas province west of Bogota, followed a similar disaster in Mocoa, Putumayo earlier this month that killed more than 320 people and displaced thousands from their homes.

“We are helping to find the disappeared … and unfortunately the number will rise,” President Juan Manuel Santos said of the death toll after arriving in Manizales.

At least 57 houses have been affected, the government said. Local media reported that Manizales received a month’s average rainfall just overnight.

Rescuers from the Red Cross, civil defense, firefighters and armed forces are searching for the disappeared in the mud and debris of destroyed buildings.

Running water, electricity and gas services have been suspended in the areas affected by the landslides.

“The situation in Manizales is very worrying. The toll is saddening,” Transport Minister Jorge Eduardo Rojas said after meeting with the province’s governor and the mayor of the city.

The forecast is for at least another two days of rain in the area.

Even in a country where rains, a mountainous landscape and informal construction combine to make landslides a common occurrence, the scale of the Mocoa disaster far surpassed recent tragedies, including a 2015 landslide that killed nearly 100 people.

Colombia’s deadliest landslide, the 1985 Armero disaster, killed more than 20,000.

(Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb and Helen Murphy; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

Colombia starts to bury 273 landslide victims, search continues

New coffins for reburials, are seen in a cemetery after flooding and mudslides caused by heavy rains leading several rivers to overflow, pushing sediment and rocks into buildings and roads, in Mocoa, Colombia April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga

MOCOA, Colombia (Reuters) – Scores of decomposing cadavers were being released for burial on Monday as rescuers continued to search for victims of weekend flooding and landslides that devastated a city in southern Colombia, killing at least 273 people.

Desperate families queued for blocks in the heat to search a morgue for loved ones who died when several rivers burst their banks in the early hours of Saturday, sending water, mud and debris crashing down streets and into houses as people slept.

Bodies wrapped in white sheets lay on the concrete floor of the morgue as officials sought to bury them as soon as possible to avoid the spread of disease. The government has begun vaccination against infection.

“Please speed up delivery of the bodies because they are decomposing,” said Yadira Andrea Munoz, a 45-year-old housewife who expected to receive the remains of two relatives who died in the tragedy.

But officials asked for families to be patient.

“We don’t want bodies to be delivered wrongly,” said Carlos Eduardo Valdes, head of the forensic science institute.

The death toll has ticked up during the day as rescuers searched with dogs and machinery in the mud-choked rubble.

Aerial view of a neighborhood destroyed after flooding and mudslides caused by heavy rains leading several rivers to overflow, pushing sediment and rocks into buildings and roads, in Mocoa, Colombia April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga

Aerial view of a neighborhood destroyed after flooding and mudslides caused by heavy rains leading several rivers to overflow, pushing sediment and rocks into buildings and roads, in Mocoa, Colombia April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga

Many families in Mocoa have spent days and nights digging through the debris with their hands despite a lack of food, clean water and electricity.

President Juan Manuel Santos, who made a third visit to the area on Monday, blamed climate change for the disaster, saying Mocoa had received one-third of its usual monthly rain in just one night, causing the rivers to burst their banks.

Others said deforestation in surrounding mountains meant there were few trees to prevent water washing down bare slopes.

More than 500 people were staying in emergency housing and social services had helped 10 lost children find their parents. As many as 43 children were killed.

Families of the dead will receive about $6,400 in aid and the government will cover hospital and funeral costs.

Even in a country where heavy rains, a mountainous landscape and informal construction combine to make landslides a common occurrence, the scale of the Mocoa disaster was daunting compared with recent tragedies, including a 2015 landslide that killed nearly 100 people.

Colombia’s deadliest landslide, the 1985 Armero disaster, killed more than 20,000 people.

Santos urged Colombians to take precautions against flooding and continued rains.

Flooding in Peru last month killed more than 100 people and destroyed infrastructure.

(Reporting by Andres Rojas, Helen Murphy Luis Jaime Acosta and Jaime Saldarriaga; Editing by James Dalgleish and Lisa Shumaker)

Bereaved families scuffle with rescue workers at Ethiopian landslide site

Rescue workers watch as excavators dig into a pile of garbage in search of missing people following a landslide when a mound of trash collapsed on an informal settlement at the Koshe garbage dump in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Bereaved families tussled with rescue workers on Tuesday at the site of an Ethiopian rubbish dump where a landslide killed 65 people this weekend.

Relatives pushed and shoved the handful of emergency workers, angrily accusing them of delays and saying dozens of people were still missing after Saturday’s disaster at the Reppi dump in the capital of Addis Ababa.

Hundreds of people live on the 50-year-old dump, the city’s only landfill site, scavenging for food and items they can sell such as recyclable metal. The landslide destroyed 49 homes.

“Nobody is helping us. We are doing all the digging ourselves. It is shameful,” Kaleab Tsegaye, a relative of one victim told Reuters.

On Monday, hundreds of people gathered at the scene, weeping and praying. Some accuse the government of negligence.

Ethiopia is one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, but the drive to industrialize has also stoked discontent among those who feel left behind.

In October, the government imposed a national state of emergency after more than 500 people were killed in protests in Oromiya region as anger over a development scheme sparked broader anti-government demonstrations.

(Reporting by Aaron Masho; Editing by Clement Uwiringiyimana and Louise Ireland)

Rescuers pull 15 out from China landslide, 32 missing

A rescue worker is seen next to an overturned car at the site of a landslide caused by heavy rains brought by Typhoon Megi, in Sucun Village, Lishui

BEIJING, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Rescuers have pulled 15 people alive from a landslide that slammed into a village in China’s eastern Zhejiang province after a typhoon but 32 people are still missing, state media said on Thursday.

Heavy rains brought by the remnants of Typhoon Megi caused the landslide to crash into Sucun village on Wednesday.

The microblog of official provincial news portal Zhejiang Online showed pictures of survivors being carried out on the backs of rescuers, while others dug through rubble to locate survivors.

It gave no details of those still missing other than to say one was an official who had been in the village to organise evacuations.

A mass of debris rolled down a lush mountain towards the small village, according to images posted on Zhejiang Online.

Mountainous Zhejiang, along with its neighbouring provinces, are frequently hit by typhoons at this time of year and are also highly susceptible to landslides.

Megi had already killed four people and injured more than 523 in Taiwan since it had roared in from the Pacific Ocean.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Paul Tait)

China landslide death toll climbs to 34

Paramilitary policemen search for missing people at the site of a landslide in Sanming

BEIJING (Reuters) – The death toll in a landslide in China’s southeastern Fujian province has risen to 34, with four people still missing, state media said on Monday.

The landslide, triggered on Sunday by heavy rain, hit a hydroelectric power station that was under construction in Fujian’s Taining County. President Xi Jinping had demanded that local officials step up rescue efforts.

Persistent rain has made rescue work more difficult, Xinhua said. It earlier said 22 bodies had been found.

In December, a landslide in the southern city of Shenzhen buried 77 people. The government has blamed breaches of construction safety rules for that disaster and a number of officials have been arrested.

Sunday’s landslide is the latest accident to have raised questions about China’s industrial safety standards and lack of oversight over years of rapid economic growth.

(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Alison Williams)

91 Reported Missing After Massive Landslide in China

At least 91 people were missing on Monday after a massive landslide in China, reports indicate.

According to Xinhua, China’s official news agency, about 3,000 rescue workers were searching through an industrial park in the city of Shenzhen after construction waste slid down a hill at about 11:40 a.m. Sunday, covering a 93-acre area in 32 feet of dirt. The slide reportedly affected 33 buildings, either burying them or otherwise damaging them, and hospitalized 16 people.

Xinhua reported authorities detected some signs of life underneath the landslide, but the muddy composition of the silt was complicating rescue efforts. While 900 people were safely evacuated after the disaster, the news agency reported only seven people had been rescued from the mud.

A researcher with the China Academy of Railway Sciences, who was assisting the rescue, told Xinhua it was the only time he’d seen a landslide of this magnitude in his 30 years on the job.

Xinhua reported that the landslide caused part of an important pipeline that carried natural gas to nearby Hong Kong to explode. Crews were reportedly building a temporary pipe on Monday.

It’s still not known what exactly spurred the landslide, according to Xinhua. It reportedly occurred at a former quarry that had been turned into a site where construction waste could be dumped.

Tropical Storm Leaves 31 Dead In Philippines

Tropical Storm Jangmi slammed into the Philippines leaving at least 31 people dead and seven people missing.

Jangmi made landfall with winds of 40 miles per hour and gusts of 50 miles per hour.  Heavy rain fell on the southern part of the nation where the flooding took out bridges and highways.

Officials say most of the deaths took place on Tuesday when the rain created landslides and flash flooding.

Officials in Catbalogan City said that a dozen people were killed when a landslide buried two vans and six houses in the eastern part of the city.  They said that voices are being heard in the vans and that rescue efforts are progressing.

A regional civil defense official told Fox News that 10 members of a family died when their creekside house was washed into the river by flash flooding.

Massive Earthquake Rocks Peru

A massive 6.9 magnitude earthquake rocked Peru late Sunday night.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was downgraded from a 7.0 initial reading.

A spokesman for Peru’s fire agency said that they’d received a report of one house being completely destroyed and 19 other buildings.  They said many residents fled their homes for large open areas because of the strength of the quake.

Minor damage was reported to 14 homes, three schools and at least one church on top of the 19 buildings seriously damaged.

Authorities said two major landslides had taken place in the aftermath of the quake and aftershocks.  Officials are warning of more landslides as the aftershocks continue throughout the region.