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China landslide: 8 dead, nearly 50 missing

China landslide: 8 dead, nearly 50 missing Landslide in China (illustrative photo: Xinhua)

In southwest China's Yunnan province, a major landslide happened early Monday morning. It buried 18 residences, and at least 8 people died. 47 people disappeared, and more than 500 people had to evacuate, according to CBS News.

The village of Liangshui was hit the hardest. By Monday afternoon, there was still no electricity or water.

China's President, Xi Jinping, sent a Vice Prime Minister to oversee the rescue efforts. Local government officials confirmed at least eight people died, while nearly 1,000 emergency and rescue workers were looking for others in the cold.

It is not clear why the landslide happened, but some villagers mentioned a nearby coal mine, and others saw cracks in the ground weeks before. The weather is freezing, and there are worries that more landslides could happen in the hilly areas, making it difficult for rescuers to help.

The rescuers couldn't use heavy machines because the ground was not solid enough.

Natural disasters in China

Yunnan is a faraway province in China, where landslides happen frequently because of the hilly land with steep mountains that go up to the Himalayan Plateau.Right now, Yunnan and some other provinces in the southern part of China are very cold, with temperatures at or below freezing.

China has faced a series of natural disasters lately. On December 18, 2023, the most powerful earthquake in recent years happened in China with a magnitude of 6.2. It struck remote regions between the Chinese provinces of Gansu and Qinghai. 149 people died, approximately 1,000 people were injured as a result of the earthquake, and over 87,000 people were displaced.