Troops search for 1,300 missing in north-west China flood
Soldiers were searching the rubble of collapsed buildings for some 1,300 missing people on Monday after floods and landslides hit north-western China's Gansu province, dpa reported.
Premier Wen Jiabao travelled to Gansu's Zhouqu county on Sunday to oversee the rescue work in the mainly Tibetan area, where at least 127 people died early Sunday.
"For those who were buried under the debris, now it's the most crucial time to save their lives," state media quoted Wen as telling a meeting of rescue officials late Sunday night.
Troops were using excavators and explosives to demolish a barrier of debris blocking the Bailong river above Zhouqu in the hope of averting more floods, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The barrier had caused a lake to form on Sunday, which later overflowed and sent "massive waves of water crashing down" a mountain into the Zhouqu county seat, where several multi-storey buildings were destroyed or partially buried in mud.
An initial head count recorded 1,294 people missing, while at least 88 people were injured, reports said.
Summer floods and landslides have hit many other areas of China since April, killing more than 1,500 people with hundreds still listed as missing.