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Landslides Kill Hundreds in China
The Associated Press
BEIJING (AP) - The death toll in a landslide set off by heavy rains in central China has risen to 213, while landslides have killed 23 people in western China, state media reported Thursday.
In western China, seasonal downpours caused massive shifts of rock and soil in the Liangshan area, a mountainous region of Sichuan province inhabited by the Yi minority people, the government's Xinhua News Agency reported.
In addition to the 23 killed, large areas of farmland have been damaged and vehicles buried in the slides since the beginning of July, the report said.
In central China, the number of victims in a series of floods and landslides last week in Shaanxi province has risen to 213 after scores of bodies were dug out of collapsed houses, Xinhua said in a separate report.
Reports earlier this week said the July 13 disaster in Ziyang county killed 119.  But rescuers digging through the rubble found scores more bodies this week, according to the regional Anti-Flood Office.
In the province's Ankang prefecture, 4,000 homes were destroyed and telephone communications and roads were destroyed and telephone communications and roads were cut by the rain-induced disasters, the report said.
Altogether, at least 681 people have been killed in summer flooding throughout China this year, with the rainy season now moving into its late-July zenith.  Excessive farming and tree-cutting on slopelands often exacerbate the floods by reducing the land's ability to absorb and hold rainwater.


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