At least two individuals have lost their lives, and dozens remain unaccounted for following a devastating landslide in China’s southwestern province of Yunnan. The landslide, which occurred in Zhaotong city at 05:51 local time on Monday, has left 47 people trapped beneath the debris.
In response to the crisis, President Xi Jinping has issued orders for an “all-out” rescue operation in the area, where sub-zero temperatures pose additional challenges to relief efforts.
State broadcaster CCTV has reported the recovery of two “unresponsive” bodies from the wreckage, as rescuers navigate treacherous conditions in a landscape adorned with snow-dusted mountains.
HVideo clips circulating on social media depict rescuers traversing piles of rubble strewn with personal belongings amid the collapsed structures. While the cause of the landslide remains unclear, the remote mountainous region’s susceptibility to such events is attributed to its geographic location. In addition to landslides, floods are a recurring threat in the area.
The People’s Daily informs that more than 500 people have been evacuated in the aftermath of the landslide, as weather forecasts predict the region will experience further light snowfall over the next three days.
Recounting the harrowing experience, a resident of Liangshui village, who was asleep when the landslide occurred, described the event as loud and shaking, resembling a significant earthquake. This tragic incident echoes a somber history, as in January 2013, a landslide in Zhaotong city claimed the lives of at least 18 people, highlighting the persistent vulnerability of the region to natural disasters.