NewsNature's Fury Unleashed. Yunnan Faces Grim Landslide Aftermath

Nature's Fury Unleashed. Yunnan Faces Grim Landslide Aftermath

Rescuers work at the site of a landslide in Liangshui Village, Tangfang Town in the city of Zhaotong, Yunnan Province, China, 22 January 2024. A total of 47 people were buried in a landslide that struck southwest China's Yunnan Province early 22 January. More than 200 rescuers together with 33 firefighting vehicles and 10 loading machines were combing the debris to search for the missing, after the disaster happened in Liangshui Village, Tangfang Town in the city of Zhaotong at 5:51 a.m. on 22 January. The buried villagers were from 18 households, according to the headquarters for the disaster relief. More than 200 residents were evacuated as the provincial commission for disaster reduction activated a Level-III emergency response for disaster relief. EPA/XINHUA / ZHOU LEI CHINA OUT / UK AND IRELAND OUT / MANDATORY CREDIT EDITORIAL USE ONLY EDITORIAL USE ONLY Dostawca: PAP/EPA.
Rescuers work at the site of a landslide in Liangshui Village, Tangfang Town in the city of Zhaotong, Yunnan Province, China, 22 January 2024. A total of 47 people were buried in a landslide that struck southwest China's Yunnan Province early 22 January. More than 200 rescuers together with 33 firefighting vehicles and 10 loading machines were combing the debris to search for the missing, after the disaster happened in Liangshui Village, Tangfang Town in the city of Zhaotong at 5:51 a.m. on 22 January. The buried villagers were from 18 households, according to the headquarters for the disaster relief. More than 200 residents were evacuated as the provincial commission for disaster reduction activated a Level-III emergency response for disaster relief. EPA/XINHUA / ZHOU LEI CHINA OUT / UK AND IRELAND OUT / MANDATORY CREDIT EDITORIAL USE ONLY EDITORIAL USE ONLY Dostawca: PAP/EPA.
Images source: © PAP | PAP/EPA/XINHUA / ZHOU LEI

9:32 AM EST, January 22, 2024

In a heart-wrenching event, a massive landslide struck the village of Liangshui in Zhaotong City, located in China's southwestern Yunnan province. The disaster occurred in the early morning hours, around 5:51 a.m. local time, under the cover of darkness and amidst freezing temperatures. This catastrophic event resulted in significant loss and distress, with at least eight fatalities confirmed and dozens still missing​​​​.

Rescue Efforts Amid Harsh Conditions

As the news of the tragedy spread, rescue operations were promptly initiated despite the challenging weather conditions. With snow continuing to fall, over 1,000 rescue workers and around 200 rescue vehicles were dispatched to the scene, reflecting the urgency and scale of the response efforts. The National Health Commission reported that in addition to the fatalities, two individuals were hospitalized with injuries​​.

Survivors of the landslide, like 35-year-old Luo Dongmei, recounted the terrifying moment when the landslide struck, emphasizing the suddenness and severity of the event. Luo, along with her family, was among the many who were relocated to safer locations such as schools by local authorities​​.

Unpredictable Nature's Fury

Landslides, unfortunately, are not an uncommon occurrence in China, particularly in regions like Yunnan with steep mountain ranges. The area has a history of natural disasters, often exacerbated by weather conditions like heavy rain or snowfall. This incident follows a recent pattern of natural calamities in China, including a powerful earthquake in the northwest that had devastating consequences​​​​.

A Nation's Response

In a demonstration of national concern, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized the importance of the search and rescue mission, calling for all possible efforts to assist the trapped and affected individuals. This high-level attention underscores the gravity of the situation and the government's commitment to disaster response and relief​​.

This tragic event in Yunnan is a stark reminder of the unpredictability and power of natural disasters. The loss of life and the ongoing rescue efforts highlight both the fragility of human settlements in the face of such events and the resilience and rapid response of rescue teams and authorities. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families, and all those affected by this calamity.

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