Rain brings more mudslide victims in China

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Rain brings more mudslide victims in China

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Heavy rain has brought more deadly mudslides and flooding to central and western China, hampering efforts to bring relief to those affected by recent disasters.

In the poor and remote province of Gansu, another 24 people are reported to have been killed in a region where landslides last weekend left 1700 dead or missing.

The latest downpours have made rescue work all but impossible. Forecasters say more rain is due over the next few days.

Some 45,000 people have left their homes; rising water levels have brought more flooding.

Gansu and Sichuan are the worst affected regions. The National Weather Centre says the threat of more landslides along the Bailong River is relatively high.

In Zhouqo county, scene of last weekend’s disaster which saw three villages engulfed by mud and water, some 600 people are reported missing.

Questions are being asked in China about whether the damage could have been prevented.

For the authorities, the landslides are a natural catastrophe. But environmental experts say they are the result of frenzied economic development that is no longer tenable.

They have issued regular warnings over systematic deforestation, and the building of new roads and hydro-electric dams.