4 dead, 3 missing in Wenchuan mudslides

2023-06-28 09:46:08China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Rescuers survey the scene of a debris-flow disaster in Wenchuan, Sichuan province, on Tuesday. (PENG KE/FOR CHINA DAILY)

Four people have been found dead and three remained missing in the wake of sudden mudslides and flash floods in Wenchuan county in Sichuan province on Tuesday.

According to the county emergency management bureau, the four victims were found after a search and rescue operation along the river at the scene.

Two of the victims were a couple who had been reported missing in Banzigou village, Miansi town in Wenchuan, the bureau said.

More than 900 residents were relocated after sudden mudslides and flash floods hit Wenchuan in the early hours of Tuesday due to intense rainfall, it said.

A geological hazard monitor surnamed Ma in Banzigou said that it started raining on Monday evening. At about 10:20 pm, he was sleeping when a village official called, telling him that mudslides had taken place in the upper reaches of the river and asking him to inform local villagers to flee.

Ma quickly got up and went out with a flashlight, but there was no sign of a mudslide.

He patrolled along the river again, and heard a sudden deafening sound in the distance, and the mudslide arrived instantly.

Excavators dredge a blockage on the Minjiang River at the scene of the debris flow in Wenchuan on Tuesday. (HUA XIAOFENG/FOR CHINA DAILY)

The ground was shaking, and the sound was very loud, like an earthquake, he said.

Ma shouted loudly while running to high ground to remind the villagers to take emergency shelter.

Villagers who heard the shout quickly got up and moved to safety, while five people who did not have time to flee were swept away by the mudslide.

Two couples from the village and one truck driver from outside the village had been washed away, Ma said.

At midday, two of the five missing people were found dead. Rescue workers walked along the river to look for the three missing people, he said.

Wenchuan activated an emergency plan, set up a front-line headquarters in Miansi and immediately carried out emergency rescue, road repair, people resettlement and transfer and disaster assessment.

The county has organized 409 people from the public security, fire, forestry and electricity departments to carry out search and rescue work for missing persons.

At present, expressway 213 and national highways 317 in Wenchuan remain open, the bureau said.


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