Toll in China Landslide Hits 337

More rain expected tomorrow; 1100 still missing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 9, 2010 10:40 AM CDT
Toll in China Landslide Hits 337
A woman cries for her missing family members after a mudslide triggered by heavy rains in Zhouqu county, in northwest China's Gansu province, Monday, Aug. 9, 2010. Rescuers searched Monday for an estimated 1,300 people left missing after rubble-strewn floodwaters tore through a remote corner of northwestern...   ((AP Photo))

(Newser) – Rescuers dug through mud and wreckage today searching for more than 1,100 people missing after flash floods and landslides struck northwestern China and killed 337, one of a series of floods across Asia that have killed hundreds and spread misery to millions more. Vehicles carrying aid supplies choked the road over bare, eroded mountains into the remote county seat of Zhouqu. Bodies wrapped in blankets were collected and laid on truck beds. "There were some, but very few, survivors. Most of them are dead, crushed into the earth," said a survivor.

Work was under way to restore power, water and communications. It was not known how many of the missing were in danger or simply out of contact. More rain is expected in the region through tomorrow morning. Hoping to prevent further disasters, demolitions experts set off three sets of charges to clear debris blocking the Bailong River upstream from the ravaged Zhouqu, which remained largely submerged. The blockage had formed a 2-mile-long artificial lake on the river that overflowed in the pre-dawn hours, sending deadly torrents crashing down onto the town. (Read more landslide stories.)

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