Days and days of heavy rain, followed by major landslides, have affected more than 21.5 million people in eight Chinese provinces including Shaanxi, Sichuan, Henan, Hubei, Shandong, and Gansu. So far, 70 people are dead, with another 32 missing, according to the state-run mouthpiece Xinhua News Agency. The direct economic loss is thought to be 26.1 billion yuan (US$4.1 billion).
The rain started early September in some areas and continued unabated for almost two weeks; culminating in massive landslides. At about 2 p.m. on Sept. 17, a landslide rushed through a village in Baqiao District, Xi’an City, in Shaanxi Province and overwhelmed a brick factory and part of a nearby ceramic factory.
A worker at the ceramic factory, Yang Dadong, was seriously injured. He told Chinese Business Net (hsw.cn) that he and another two workers were in the workshop when he heard a huge boom and saw a mountain from afar crashing down; before they could flee, the whole building collapsed. When he woke up, he was already in the hospital.
Another employee of the ceramic plant, surnamed Yang, told The Epoch Times he did not know if the workers had been rescued or not, as the area near the plant had been cordoned off.
Zhou Qingcui, a 5th grader, was also one of the seriously injured. She told Chinese Business Net that she was having lunch in the ceramic factory’s dormitory with her father, mother, and younger sister when suddenly a loud noise came from the back of the building.
She saw a mountain from afar crumbling down. Her father immediately took her hand and ran while her mother took her sister’s and ran right after them. She and her father had just escaped when the building collapsed. Her father was released from the hospital for minor injuries, but her mother and sister remain missing.
The following day, three consecutive landslides struck the same location in Baqiao District.
The city’s vice Mayor Zhu Zhisheng told Xinhua that by noon on Sept. 19, the landslides had caused 14 deaths and a further 18 were missing.
Continuous, torrential rain along the Ba River and Tong River in Sichuan Province on Sept. 17 and 18 affected three counties and one district of Bazhong City. As a result, 13 people died and 10 were missing, according to Sichuan Online.
Large areas in Nanjiang, Tongjiang, and Pingchang were seriously hit by flooding, according to the Flood Control Office of Nanjing County in Sichuan Province. The office confirmed that 6 people were killed and 9 were missing in Nanjiang.
Ms. Tang of Baiyi Township, Pingchang County, said that early evening on Sept. 18, the rain started pouring down and flooded the first floor of her house. Her family went to the second floor and called for help, but no one came. Ms. Tang said that if someone had come along with a boat, in a few minutes they could have arrived at the District office. Her sister-in-law is pregnant, and it took the five family members, including two little children and one elderly relative, more than two hours to walk and crawl their way out of the area.
Ms. Tang’s mother lives by the mountain. She said the water went up to the second floor of her mother’s house and it happened so quickly that nothing was saved; her mother’s house is now filled with mud.
Read the original Chinese article.