Helicopters supply landslide-hit villages in south-west China

Other News Materials 7 November 2008 15:08 (UTC +04:00)

Helicopters have dropped emergency supplies to isolated villages cut off for up to 10 days by landslides that killed at least 43 people and left 46 missing in mountainous areas of south-western China's Yunnan province, the government said Friday.

Three military helicopters began the drops on Thursday in the worst-hit prefecture of Chuxiong, delivering emergency food, water, clothes, tents and bedding, the provincial civil affairs bureau said, reproted dpa.

The death toll across the province had risen to 43, with 46 listed as missing and 29 injured, the bureau reported on its website.

"The airlift has made great progress for our relief work and people in the villages now also feel greatly relieved," the official Xinhua news agency quoted Fa Yubin, the deputy head of the Chuxiong government, as saying.

In the nearby Deqen prefecture, many roads were already cleared of debris but new landslides had blocked some isolated roads again as rain continued this week, the agency said.

"It may take another two or three weeks to repair all the roads, but we will ensure the stranded villagers have adequate food and clothing," it quoted Deqen government official Zhang Yongming as saying.

Landslides and flooding caused by heavy rain affected some 2.45 million residents in 13 counties of Yunnan and forced the evacuation of 61,800 people, the civil affairs bureau said.

A total of 3,149 buildings were destroyed and thousands of others were damaged in mud and rock flows.

Many roads, power lines, and water facilities were badly damaged and 1,430 heads of livestock died in the disaster, it said.

At least eight more people died and two were missing after heavy rain hit Yunnan's neighbouring region of Guangxi, state media said earlier.