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Rescuers continue search efforts in Zhouqu

08-11-2010 09:48 BJT Special Report:China Fights Worst Flood in Decades |

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By late this afternoon, the official death toll from the landslide was updated to 702. Another 1,042 people are still missing. Rescue crews are continuing to drain the landslide-formed barrier lake, which is threatening to break its banks and bring more devastation.

Several blasts to clear the debris have successfully brought down the water level. Mudslides have flooded three thousand homes. Rescuers are continuing to search for survivors. Yuan Xiaoyuan has the latest.

60 hours after the deadly landslide hit Zhouqu county, a miracle under the debris and rubble.

A rescuer said, "It's a man. He is well in body and mind, and is talking with the rescuers.

The trapped man is a 52 year old Tibetan. He was buried in the first floor of his collapsed building, which is five meters beneath the debris.

Another rescuer said, "He is enclosed by the bricks. He is moaning, but we can pull him out soon."

After digging, rescuers reached the man and pulled him out. He was sent to a local hospital, and is now in a stable condition.

News of these miracle rescues are spurring on crews to work harder and work faster. More troops and medical workers are rushing into the region, with state of the art technology being used to search for survivors.

The national quake rescue team, which has experience from the Wenchuan and Haiti earthquakes, are facing tougher challenges in Zhouqu. With less chances of surviving a landslide, rescuers are using life detectors and sniffer dogs to search for signs of life.

Rescue teams from Sichuan provinces are focussing their work on the most prosperous street in the township. The deadly landslide has changed it into a sea of rocks and mud. A nightmare for local residents.

A local resident said, "I was asleep when I heard the sound from the running mud and rocks. The ground was shaking. I put on my clothes and run out right before my house collapsed."

Survivors that have already been rescued are recovering at local hospitals. Those with more serious injuries are being medivaced out by aircraft and vehicles.

Rescuers work in the mudslides-hit Zhouqu County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in northwest China's Gansu Province, Aug. 10, 2010. The death toll from a massive rain-triggered mudslide in Zhouqu County has risen to 702, with 1,042 others still missing, local civil affairs authorities told a news conference Tuesday afternoon. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
Rescuers work in the mudslides-hit Zhouqu County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous 
Prefecture in northwest China's Gansu Province, Aug. 10, 2010. The death toll 
from a massive rain-triggered mudslide in Zhouqu County has risen to 702, with 
1,042 others still missing, local civil affairs authorities told a news conference 
Tuesday afternoon. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

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