Floods, Landslides Kill 37 in China

July 21, 2010

Rescuers in China were searching Tuesday for 30 people buried in landslides as flood waters from days of heavy rain surged past the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest.

Soldiers used bulldozers to plow through debris in search of survivors on Tuesday in Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces, while workers in other parts of the country scrambled to drain overflowing reservoirs and pile up sandbags to prevent further flooding, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Three people were killed late Sunday night by landslides in Lingao County in Shaanxi Province that also left 17 missing, Xinhua reported. In all, flooding and landslides from rain-soaked hillsides in Shaanxi have killed 37 and left another 97 missing.

In nearby Sichuan Province, rescuers searched for 13 missing people after a landslide hit Xujiaping Village on Tuesday morning, burying homes and blocking roads, Xinhua reported.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs said that the death toll from summer storms stood at 146 with another 40 people missing as of Friday, a tally certain to rise as flooding continues. Much of the worst-affected areas lie along the Yangtze River Basin.

Xinhua and state broadcaster China Central Television reported that the Three Gorges Dam was facing its highest water levels ever when a flood crest passed the dam Tuesday morning.

The government cited flood control along the Yangtze as one of the main reasons for the $23 billion dam project that forced the relocation of 1.4 million people.

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