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13 dead, 59 missing in Sichuan mudslide

08-16-2010 13:40 BJT Special Report:China Fights Worst Flood in Decades |

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Floods and a landslide triggered by heavy rain last week have killed at least 13 people and left another 59 missing in southwestern China's Sichuan Province. Altogether 31 people are missing in Wenchuan County alone.

It was the epicenter of the devastating earthquake in May 2008 that left about 87-thousand people dead or missing.

In Yingxiu Township in Wenchuan County, two barrier lakes have been formed by debris on the Minjiang River, a branch of the Yangtze River.

Floodwater surged into the new communities, which were built for the resettlement of the 2008 earthquake victims.

More than 100 construction workers were stranded.

Armed police and fire fighters rushed to help.

Kang Xiaokui, construction worker, said, "I said look, it's dangerous. But they went ahead ignoring their safety. Especially when they saved a guy on the bridge, they were risking their lives."

The 213 national highway in Yingxiu Township has been destroyed by the mudslide.

And the barrier lakes nearby threaten other sections of the road.

More than a hundred armed police worked for more than 20 hours to divert the flood.

Wang Quan, armed police, said, "We tried to build a cofferdam on the right bank, to divert the floodwater so it wouldn't cause any more damage in the town."

More than 8,000 villagers have been evacuated from below the two lakes. Local authorities plan to use explosives to clear the blockage.

In neigbouring Mianzhu city, the mudslide also caused alarm.

Qingping county, ravaged by the earthquake two years ago, has been isolated by the mudslide.

Local authorities have begun clearing up, and business in the county has resumed.

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source:

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