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Four dead, 88 still missing after mudslides hit SW China's Yunnan

08-20-2010 10:01 BJT Special Report:China Fights Worst Flood in Decades |

GONGSHAN, Yunnan, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Four people have been confirmed dead and 88 others are still missing Thursday after mudslides hit a remote mountain town in southwest China's Yunnan Province Wednesday, said local authorities.

Rescuers stand in mudslides-hit Puladi Township of Gongshan Drung-Nu Autonomous County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Aug. 19, 2010. Mudslides hit the township early Wednesday. (Xinhua/Wang Changshan)
Rescuers stand in mudslides-hit Puladi Township of Gongshan Drung-Nu Autonomous 
County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Aug. 19, 2010. Mudslides hit the 
township early Wednesday. (Xinhua/Wang Changshan)
By 5 p.m. Thursday, rescuers had found two more bodies, bringing the death toll to four, said Hou Xinrong, deputy head of the Drung-Nu Autonomous County of Gongshan.

Most of the missing people are employees of the Yujin Iron Mine and villagers in the Puladi Township in Gongshan, where the mudslides struck at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

"It was raining hard on Tuesday night, but I didn't care because I'm accustomed to that," said Li Xiuhua, who had eight relatives among the missing in the hardest-hit Litoudi Village.

Li survived because she does not live in the low-lying valley areas, but high in the mountains.

"I was woken up suddenly late in the night by cries from my fellow villagers: 'Run! Run! Run! Here comes a mudslide! Run to the higher place'," she recalled.

"I dressed myself immediately and ran out of my house. I saw the village in the valley had disappeared and houses buried in mud and rock. There were loud cries everywhere and some villagers were crazily digging the mud to find their relatives.

"If it had been daytime, more people could have been saved. But my mother, my elder sister and her husband, my nieces.... Eight people, I lost all of them," Li said.

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