Sunday, March 3, 2024

Frustration mounts at site of landslide


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MAO COUNTY – Frustration grew on Monday among family members of victims of a landslide that buried a mountain village in southwestern China, with some complaining about a lack of information and asking why they had not been moved from an area prone to land slips.

At least 93 people remain missing, along with 10 confirmed dead, after a landslide crashed down on the village of Xinmo, in mountainous Sichuan province, as dawn broke on Saturday.

The government has sent some 3 000 rescuers, along with equipment, to the area and has promised to do all it can to look for survivors while restricting access for safety reasons.

The government of Mao county, where the village is located, posted on Monday drone video footage of the disaster zone, showing a dozen or so mechanical diggers shifting through a vast landscape of rubble, and promising to release updated information in a timely manner.

About 100 family members, unhappy with what they said was limited information, met with government officials at a nearby primary school, saying they wanted to go back home, were concerned about the rebuilding process and whether it would be done by winter, and what would happened to children orphaned.

Heavy rain triggered the landslide, authorities have said.

Sichuan province is also prone to earthquakes, including an 8.0 magnitude tremor in central Sichuan’s Wenchuan county in 2008 that killed nearly 70 000 people.

Mao county sits next to Wenchuan. State media says the mountainside which collapsed onto the village had been weakened by the 2008 temblor.

County residents are primarily poor farmers of the Qiang ethnic minority and the area is the target of a poverty alleviation project, according to government officials. (Reuters)


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